I made this salad to include in our Easter feast, but don’t save it for a special occasion. It is easy to put together and makes a great accompaniment to almost anything you are making. These are French lentils-Lentilles du Puy.
In France they grow along the famed volcanic plateau around the town of Le Puy. French lentils are a member of the green lentil family, but differ in size and texture. They are about 1/3 the size of a green lentil. When cooked they maintain a nice firm texture, whereas other lentil varieties tend to get mushy once cooked, making French lentils an excellent choice for soups, stews, or salad.
French lentils do not have to be grown in France. The ones I used were grown on an organic farm in Merrill, WI. Lentils grow all over the world with Canada being the biggest exporter followed by India.
Lentils grow on low, bushy plants, which form pods. There are only about 2 lentils per pod. Lentils are a good source of potassium, high in fiber, complex carbs and protein.
The French lentils take a bit longer to cook than other varieties. I put this salad together with red onion, cukes, yellow grape tomatoes, radishes feta cheese and green olives. For herbs I used mint and parsley, but the possibilities of veg and herb to enhance the lentils are endless.
I found this recipe on the Love and Lemons site and stayed quite true, but did do a bit of tweaking. Make it your own! The salad keeps well in the fridge for a week.
No, I did not serve this beautiful French Lentil Salad in an aluminum tin, but did not get a photo of the finished dish.
On to the recipe…
French Lentil Salad With Herby Lemon Vinaigrette
This easy to make French Lentil Salad is packed with flavor and super nutritious.
For the Salad
- 2 1/2 cups French lentils, from 1 cup uncooked
- 1 large English cucumber, thinly sliced into half moons
- 1 cup Yellow grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup Red onion, finely diced
- 4 Red radishes, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup Green olives, halved
- 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup Mint leaves, chopped
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil, extra virgin
- 1/4 cup Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 1/2 cloves Garlic, grated
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. Flakey salt, such as Maldon or Fleur de Sel
- 1/4 tsp. Ground cumin
- 1 tsp. Za'atar or Italian seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Rinse the lentils and remove any agricultural debris. Bring 3 cups of generously salted water to a boil. Add 1 cup of lentils and reduce heat to simmer. Cook the lentils for 30-40 minutes or until just tender. Drain if any additional water remains. Pour into a large bowl.
Add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Toss in the dressing--enough to coat, but not enough to make the salad soggy. Refrigerate to keep cool until ready to serve.
Make the Dressing
In a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, Za'atar, salt, cumin, and a few grinds of black pepper. Place the dressing in a glass jar and give it a good shake before dressing the salad. The dressing keeps well in the fridge for a week or more. Just shake well before using again.
Can you believe how easy this is?! If you are making the salad ahead, do not dress until ready to serve.