Lentil salad adds a flavorful zing to the summer picnic buffet.
With 8 grams of protein, plus fiber and olive oil, lentil salad is a healthier option than traditional, mayonnaise-based summer salads.
Like our other lentil dishes, this recipe is easy, and you can prepare it ahead of time. Then, bring the salad to room temperature before serving.
I like it salty, and probably add about a teaspoon of Kosher salt to the dressing before pouring it over the salad. Add as much or as little as you like, depending on your taste and health considerations.
Even if your family members aren’t huge fans of legumes, there’s enough flavor here to fool them.
Lentil Salad with Fresh Herbs
- 1 cup lentils, dry
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups chopped, mixed, fresh herbs: parsley, oregano, mint, thyme
- ½ cup lemon juice, fresh
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp crushed garlic
- 2 tsp cumin, ground
- 1 tsp allspice, ground
- salt & pepper to taste
Cook the Lentils
- Rinse the lentils in a colander and discard any pebbles, stems, etc. that may have been packed in the bag.
- Put the lentils and 3 cups of water in a large pot and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils become tender but not mushy. (Some may get mushy, but that's okay.)
- Drain the cooked lentils in colander. Cool and then refrigerate if you are making the salad later.
Prepare the Fresh Herbs
- Wash and remove stems from oregano, mint, and thyme. Wash the parsley. Chop herbs to make about 3 cups. You can vary the amount of each herb according to your taste. I used more parsley and mint than oregano, and just a few sprigs of thyme.
Make the Dressing
- Mix fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and spices together in a cup or jar.
Construct the Salad
- Toss the prepared lentils and herbs together. Pour the dressing over the salad and continue tossing to evenly distribute the dressing.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Allow the salad to rest for 30 minutes to an hour before serving, to allow flavors to meld.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
Sometimes, I use dill instead of oregano. It’s a bit less spicy, but still brings that fresh taste.
Speaking of fresh, two tablespoons of garlic may seem like a lot, but lentils definitely require flavor. If you are wary, or don’t want to smell like garlic, use half and see if you like it before adding more. The flavor will develop as the salad sits.
Continuing on the fresh theme, fresh lemon juice is not something you can cheat on – there’s nothing like the fresh-squeezed version.
We have a reamer that fits in the utensil drawer and easily holds 2 tablespoons (about 1/2 a medium lemon). It’s plastic and comes apart to rinse easily.
A half cup of lemon juice is about 2 lemons.