Diogenes was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. Also known as Diogenes the Cynic, he was born in Sinope (modern-day Sinope, Turkey), an Ionian colony on the Black Sea, in 412 or 404 BC and died at Corinth in 323 BC.
Diogenes was a controversial figure. His father minted coins for a living, and when Diogenes took to debasement of currency, he was banished from Sinope. After being exiled, he moved to Athens and criticized many cultural conventions of the city. He believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory. He used his simple lifestyle and behavior to criticize the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt or at least confused society. He had a reputation of sleeping and eating wherever he chose and took to toughening himself against nature. He declared himself a cosmopolitan and a citizen of the world. Diogenes made a virtue of poverty. He begged for a living and often slept in a large ceramic jar in the marketplace. He became notorious for his philosophical stunts such as carrying a lamp in the daytime, claiming to be looking for an honest man. He criticized and embarrassed Plato, disputed his interpretation of Socrates and sabotaged his lectures. Diogenes was also noted for having publicly mocked Alexander the Great.
After being captured by pirates and sold into slavery, Diogenes eventually settled in Corinth. None of Diogenes’ many writings have survived, but details of his life come in the form of anecdotes. One day Diogenes was eating lentils. Lentil soup was the cheapest meal at that time and people eating them showed that they were very poor and in great need. While he was eating on the street a very rich friend of the local master passed by, saw him and told him: “Poor Diogenes! If you learned not to be so unbowed and flattered the master a bit you wouldn’t be obliged to eat lentils all the time.”
Diogenes shook his head with contempt and replied: “My poor friend! If you were taught to eat lentils more often you wouldn’t have to obey and bow to the master!”
As you see lentils existed since ancient ages and it was also back then a rich in vitamins and elements meal for people with less economic means. Lentil soup is a traditional winter dish that it is cooked at least a month in most households. Nevertheless, lately lentils have started to being used in making other dishes as well. This salad is a typical example and Greeks start to integrate them in several other dishes.
Summer is all about salads and since soups are out of the question with the hot temperatures here, I think this lentil one is just the right meal. Very easy to make and very tasty, you can prepare it in advance or even add it to a summer buffet in formal or informal gatherings.
- 1 cup lentils
- 1 tomato, cut in small cubes
- 1 cucumber, cut in small cubes
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in small cubes
- 4 tbsp raisins
- For the Dressing
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- Pepper to your liking
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- In a bowl mix all the dressing ingredients and put in the fridge while you cook the lentils.
- Rinse the lentils very well.
- In a pot place the lentils and add water enough to cover them and a bit more.
- Cover and bring to boil.
- When it starts to boil reduce heat and let them boil gently for about 25 to 30 minutes.
- They must not be very soft but rather al dente.
- Drain and rinse well under tab water.
- An hour before serving mix the lentils with the dressing and keep in the fridge until 15 minutes before serving.
- 1 φλ. φακές
- 1 ντομάτα, κομμένη σε μικρούς κύβους
- 1 αγγούρι, κομμένο σε κυβάκια
- 1 κίτρινη πιπεριά, κομμένη σε μικρούς κύβους
- 4 κ.σ. σταφίδες
- 3 κ.σ. ελαιόλαδο
- 2 κ.σ. ξίδι από σέρι
- 1 κ.σ. μέλι
- 1 κ.γ. μουστάρδα σε σκόνη
- 1 ½ κ.γ. αλάτι
- Πιπέρι ανάλογα με τις προτιμήσεις σας
- ½ κ.γ. κύμινο
- ¼ κ.γ. κουρκουμά
- ¼ κ.γ. τριμμένο κόλιανδρο
- ¼ κ.γ. κάρδαμο τριμμένο
- ⅛ κ.γ. τριμμένο μοσχοκάρυδο
- Σε ένα μπολ ανακατεύουμε όλα τα υλικά του dressing και βάζουμε στο ψυγείο ενώ μαγειρεύουμε τις φακές.
- Ξεπλένουμε πολύ καλά τις φακές.
- Σε μια κατσαρόλα βάζουμε και τις φακές και προσθέτουμε νερό αρκετό για να τις καλύψει και λίγο περισσότερο.
- Καλύψτε και φέρεται σε βρασμό.
- Όταν πάρει βράση χαμηλώνετε τη φωτιά και αφήστε να βράσουν για περίπου 25-30 λεπτά.
- Δεν πρέπει να είναι πολύ μαλακές, αλλά μάλλον al dente.
- Στραγγίζετε και ξεπλένετε καλά με νερό.
- Μια ώρα πριν το σερβίρισμα ανακατεύουμε τις φακές με τη σάλτσα και κρατάμε στο ψυγείο μέχρι 15 λεπτά πριν το σερβίρισμα.