Taken and adapted from Jeanne Lemlin's "Quick Vegetarian Pleasures" -- a superb cookbook that should be in every kitchen! This salad is so much more yummy than you might think from the list of in gredients ....
Combine lentils, water and bay leaf in saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered for 15 minutes (or until lentils are tender but crunchy). Drain thoroughly.
Mix lentils with minced celery, carrot, onion and parsley. NOTE: This salad is much better if you make sure all vegetables are finely diced; the flavors blend much better than if you've used a regular-to-large dice.
Mix the dressing: Mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour over lentils and toss.
You can serve this right away, but the flavors blend beautifully if you refrigerate for a day or two. Serve at room temperature.