Lentil-Tomato Tabbouleh with Pita Crisp Croutons


1-1/2 cups lentils
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 medium clove garlic, peeled and crushed
6 Tbsp. lemon juice, divided
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 ripe tomatoes, finely dices
Freshly ground black pepper


1 pita bread
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground cumin

Preheat the oven to 400*F.

To prepare the salad. In a medium pan, cover the lentils with lots of water. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly and cook at low boil 10 minutes. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and continue cooking about 15 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain well. Transfer to a paper lined plate for a few minutes to absorbed excess water.

Combine the lentils with 1/4 cup each of the parsley, mint, green onions and garlic. Combine 4 Tbsp. lemon juice with the olive oil, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin and 1/2 tsp. salt. Pour over lentils, cover and refrigerate overnight.

To prepare the pita crisp croƻtons. Separate the pitas in halves. cut each half into 8 wedges and spread on baking sheet. Combine the olive oil and cumin, brush lightly onto the wedges and sprinkle lightly with the salt. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown, cool.

One hour before serving the salad, remove from the refrigerator. Stir in the tomatoes, the remaining 1/4 cup each parsley and mint and the remaining 2 Tbsp. lemon juice. Add black pepper to taste and the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt if needed.

Just before serving crumble about half of the pita crisp and stir into the salad. Arrange the est of the pita crisp around the edge of the bowl.

Makes 6 servings.