mediterranean black lentil salad
This Mediterranean Black Lentil Salad with cucumbers, spinach and feta is super easy to whip together. Just toss the lentils together with a little dressing and veggies, and you have the perfect summer side dish or gluten-free vegetarian main course.
This month the challenge posed to Recipe Redux members was to adapt a recipe from another member’s website. I immediately knew I wanted to pick something from my friend Sara Haas. She is both a classically trained chef and Registered Dietitian. And a total badass mom. But that’s another story. We met in real life last year at Blog Brulee, and we immediately hit it off. We’ve kept in touch. I helped her pick out a new camera setup. (sort of, but not really. I think I maybe just confused the situation… but that’s yet another story). I saw her again in Chicago and we even had a FaceTime sesh last month for a mini photo tutorial.
Anyway, being a culinary grad and an RD means she pretty much has got it going on in the healthy culinary world. I knew going onto her website that the hardest part was going to be narrowing it down to one recipe! I finally settled on her French Lentil Salad with Spinach and Feta Cheese. This is exactly the kind of salad that ranks high on my cup of tea scale, so it had a lot going for it.
I also knew that would be the perfect recipe because I have had black lentils in my pantry since I was at Eatly in Chicago way back during Blog Her Food. I’d just been waiting for inspiration for them. And here was inspiration. Smack!
How to Make Black Lentil Salad
I know I say all my recipes are easy, but this one takes the cake. You’ll first need to cook the black lentils until just tender (they’ll soak up the dressing as they sit in your fridge, so no need to cook them any longer). While the lentils are cooking, chop the parsley and spinach, and dice the cucumber and bell pepper.
Once you’ve drained the lentils, add them to a large bowl with the herbs and veggies, and mix in the balsamic vinaigrette dressing. If you plan on eating this Mediterranean lentil salad right away, crumble in the feta at this stage. Otherwise, I’d recommend waiting a bit to add the cheese to avoid making it soggy.
How to Store Black Lentil Salad
This lentil salad should keep well in the fridge for up to five days in a tightly sealed container. The spinach and parsley will likely wilt a bit, but the salad will still taste good! Over time, the lentils will soak up all that balsamic dressing and will be even more flavorful than when you first made this recipe. If you’re taking this salad to a potluck, try and keep it chilled for as long as possible before serving. Again, you don’t want to feta turning to mush!
It was as good as I hoped and I loved the leftovers as well. Thank you Sara for the great recipe!
More Easy Salad Recipes:Print
Here’s a healthy gluten-free lentil side salad for the summer. It has Mediterranean flavors with cucumbers, feta, spinach and red pepper. I used black lentils, but French Green lentils would also work great.
- 1 cup dry black lentils, sorted
- 2 cups sliced spinach
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup diced seeded cucumber
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup walnut balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Place lentils in a medium saucepan. Generously cover lentils with cold water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a steady simmer, and cook until just tender, 20 to 26 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool running water. Transfer the lentils to a large mixing bowl.
- Add spinach, parsley, cucumber, bell pepper, vinaigrette, feta, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Serve immediately or chill.
Adapted from Sarah Haas RD
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 133
- Sugar: 7 g
- Sodium: 300 mg
- Fat: 2 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 24 g
- Fiber: 9 g
- Protein: 9 g