Crisp and hearty lentil salad recipe makes a wonderful protein-packed lunch.
This lentil salad has a bit of a Greek flair which is pairs well with the sweetness of roasted sweet potato. I particularly love salads that incorporate both fresh and cooked ingredients like this one. The combination provides a range of textures that is satisfying when eating.
Lentils are naturally gluten-free, and by omitting the feta cheese, this salad becomes vegan. Otherwise, it is suitable for ovo-lacto vegetarians. This salad is also pack with protein and fibre.
In this recipe I recommend green lentils as the hold up better during cooking. Brown would also work well. Red and yellow lentils could easily end up too mushy in this dish. So, if you choose to use red or yellow lentils, lower the time they simmer and monitor them frequently, testing for doneness after 10 minutes and every few minutes after that until done.
TIP: If using canned lentils, rinse and simmer with only 1 cup of vegetable stock and the herbs until only warmed through. Let cool and to absorb the flavours.
(Makes 6 servings)
2, 1/2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed (or brown lentils)
1 clove garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried celery leaf
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large sweet potato, peeled, cubed, and roasted
2 teaspoons avocado oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Roma tomato, deseeded and chopped
1 red sweet bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 orange sweet bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 cup olives, pitted
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 English cucumber, halved and sliced
1/2 cup light feta, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
bed of baby spinach or arugula (optional)
lemon vinaigrette (1/2 batch)
Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper or silicone liner then set aside.
In a bowl, add the cubed sweet potato, oil, and salt, then toss to coat evenly. Spread the sweet potato onto the sheet pan in one layer and roast for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is fork tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. While the sweet potato is roasting, prepare the lentils.
In a medium soup pot over medium-high heat, add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the rinsed lentils and once it returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic, lemon zest, bay leaf, herbs, and salt. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked but not mushy. Drain and set aside to cool then remove the bay leaf.
Once the lentils and sweet potato have cooled, prepare the salad. In a large salad bowl, combine the sweet potato, lentils, deseeded tomato, sweet bell peppers, olives, red onion, cucumber, and feta. Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette and toss well. Serve with remaining vinaigrette on the side.
Serve as is, or optionally, over a bed of baby spinach or arugula. Garnish with chopped cilantro (optional). This salad can also be served in a lettuce wrap, as the filling for a stuffed avocado or bell pepper, etc. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for no more than a day.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 291 | total fat = 12.95g | saturated fat = 2.41g | cholesterol = 3.33mg | sodium = 386.58mg | net carbohydrates = 25.4g | dietary fibre = 8.97g | sugars = 4.77g | protein = 10.98g