Ah, lentils. I’ve been experimenting a lot this year with pulses and black lentils have quickly become one of my favorites for their rich and beautiful color, hearty texture that stands up to cooking, and earthy flavor. If you’ve never played around with lentils outside of daal, stews or soups, then I highly recommend you try this one out to get out of your lentil rut! This Simple French Inspired Lentil Salad is full of flavor from fresh parsley, spinach or you can use arugula, walnuts, and a vinaigrette that’s out of this world with lemon, olive oil, shallots, and some other goodies. I’m really confident you’ll love this one guys!
We have a great restaurant here in Nashville called Le Sel that’s my favorite joint to go get French modern food. This recipe was completely inspired by my favorite side dish there. I have a couple tweaks (obviously from not knowing the exact recipe), but it hits home and completely satisfies my craving for it when I can’t grab it from there. Lentils are my go-to in the pulses world because they’re rich in protein (about 15g per serving) and fiber (about 15g per serving) and from a culinary standpoint they’re versatile and absorb any flavor that surrounds it. A+ in my book. This year I’ve teamed up with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada in honor of the International Year of the Pulses and taken the Pulse Pledge where I’m trying to incorporate pulses (dry peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas) into at least one meal a week. You can join me in taking the pledge here.
My favorite way to enjoy this salad is for lunch on the go, or I’ll have it for dinner by adding a big ole’ scoop to a bed of spinach or arugula then topping with a poached egg and some avocado. You can use any green like romaine lettuce or spinach as the salad base- any green will go well with the tangy dressing in the lentil salad. Also, with all the summer picnics, pool parties, and BBQ’s going on this time of year, it’s a delicious side dish to bring and share with friends and family. I promise it’s a crowd pleaser!
- 2 cups dry black lentils then cooked (yields about 4 cups cooked)
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups fresh spinach (or arugula is nice)
- ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
- For the dressing:
- ⅓ extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard (or another strong)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground sumac
- Fresh herbs to garnish, dill, parsley, etc.
- Juice of 1 lemon to finish
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except "for the dressing" ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Add to the salad when ready to serve.
- Store in an airtight glass container separately from the dressing for up to one week.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do, guys! Can’t wait to see these in action during your summer hangs, be sure to tag #nutritionstripped when you try it and rate the recipe since it helps me improve them in the future. Have a beautiful week!
This post was created in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulses Canada. All opinions and endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting!