This green lentil salad recipe is made of vegan ingredients as well as an oil-free French lemon dressing for a refreshing starter or entree.
May is the month of Mother’s Day. Living in the US with my wife and our kids, the date is always different from that of France, where my mother resides. So whenever this day happens in America, I check the date for France and set a reminder for myself to not forget about calling my Mom. This difference in dates feels like Daylight Savings. In this day and age, does it make sense to keep French and US mother’s day at different times?
Anyway, Layla suggested that for Mother’s Day, I cook this green lentil salad. There are a sizable number of fresh vegetables part of the ingredients list, so as I made it, I realized that they quickly filled the capacity of the large salad bowl I was using. So if you plan on using a full pack of lentils, plan for an extra large salad bowl for everything to fit in. In my case I reserved half the lentils I cooked, and used the other half for the salad. The bowl was full, and the proportions worked very well.
This vegan green lentil salad recipe is also a great option for an oil-free lentil salad, using the oil-free French lemon dressing. Once served, those who want to put oil in can add it to their preference. The salad already contains olives, and like most oil-free recipes, ingredients already contain some amount of fat naturally. Where does oil come from? Pressing natural ingredients.
To raise the visual appeal for the salad, avoid overcooking lentils, optionally rinse them a bit once cooked to remove the floury residue from cooking and show their more defined shape. Finally, because we are using mustard and it tends to add a coating to the ingredients, I reserved a small amount of greens and cherry tomatoes that I chopped once the salad was made, and sprinkled them on top.
That’s it. One final point: you’ll need to chop each vegetable finely, which is the most time consuming part of the recipe. However, your guests will appreciate that you did chop them small, as it makes the salad easier to eat, and also blends better with the dressing for more flavor overall. I tended to overlook this part since my recipes focus on “fast”, but I have to say: my wife was right and she always is!
Happy Mother’s Day!
Green lentil salad
- 0.75 lb uncooked green lentils
- 12 oz radish (I used a colorful burpee watermelon radish, peeled, for this recipe. Regular radishes work just as well)
- 1 cup raw spinach
- 1 red onion
- 1 cucumber
- 1 red pepper
- 4 oz olives
- 0.5 oz capers
- 6 oz cherry tomatoes
- 2 oz celeri
- 1 oz parsley
- Oil-free French lemon dressing (make a double batch for this amount of ingredients)
- Cook the lentils in a pan according to label instructions.
- Rinse, prepare and finely chop all vegetables.
- Prepare the oil-free French lemon dressing, or use the traditional French lemon dressing instead. Make a double batch from the base quantities (2 lemons etc) for this amount of ingredients.
- When cooked, strain and optionally rinse the lentils in cold water to cool them down. Doing so will also remove the floury residue and make the lentils shapes more distinct.
- Reserve pieces of tomatoes, parsley and spinach to the side. In a large salad bowl, mix in the lentils, finely chopped vegetables, and dressing.
- Add the final pieces of chopped tomatoes, parsley and spinach on top for final decoration.
- Serve immediately. You can keep the salad in the fridge for
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