This beautiful salad is so packed with flavor and freshness borrowing elements of a traditional Greek salad with some additional ingredients.  As always, it is best to start with the freshest ingredients for the best results. I love the Persian cucumbers that are readily available because they are super crispy and less watery than regular cucumbers.  This salad can be made ahead and stored in the fridge covered. Just add the dressing just before serving.


2 cups arugula

1 cup dry french lentils

1 minced shallot

2 minced garlic cloves

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes, red and yellow mixed

4 Persian cucumbers, sliced

1 thinly sliced red pepper

1/2 cup sliced mild pepporrcini

1 cup Kalamata olives 

1 cup crumbled feta

1 bunch basil, roughly torn

Kosher salt and cracked pepper

1 Sliced avocado, optional

2 few tablespoons or so Alessi red balsamic vinegar reduction 

Best quality Olive Oil 

Directions:  Boil french lentils for about 20 minutes until tender in about 2 1/2 cups water. I like to add one minced shallot and minced garlic to the liquid for flavor and use chicken broth instead of water, but water is fine if you prefer. Allow to cool.  On a large platter, arrange arugula leaves around the edge.  Make another ring with cooled lentils. Add the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and remaining vegetables in the center. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Drizzle with vinegar and olive oil all over platter and serve.