Lentil Salad. Hearty, crunchy, and fresh, this lentil salad is a wonderful meal in itself. This healthy lentil salad is made with brown lentils, fresh cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, red onions, and flavorful colored peppers. A simple vinaigrette of dijon mustard and olive oil takes this salad to another level. Vegan and gluten-free.
Summer is approaching, and I don't know about you guys, but I definitely don't want to slave in the kitchen nor do I want to have heavy foods, especially during lunch. This salad is refreshing, at the same time hearty and filling so having this keeps your tummy full for a long time.
At home, I am thinking of making a bunch of salad recipes that are kid-approved. Of course, that needs to be done, the reason being with teens, you certainly cannot make anything which is not approved by them, or else take away is guaranteed.
Why Am I Making Lentil Salad?
Lentils are always used in salads and every region of the world and every cuisine has some type of lentil recipe. A few recipes are used with cheese, some are with creamier dressing or different types of greens. Here I have kept the ingredients super simple. My idea was to make a salad which is easy for everybody so that going to the supermarket for ingredients can be avoided.
Vegan and vegetarian food is becoming quite popular and more and more people are inclined towards this lifestyle. I have made this salad vegan but you can definitely add some goat cheese or mozzarella cheese if you are vegetarian. Both ways, this salad tastes delicious.
What Ingredients are Needed for Lentil Salad?
Brown Lentils- I have used brown lentils, but if you do not have those you can easily replace them with green french lentils.
Cucumber- Seedless English cucumber is best for this recipe. If you are using any other cucumber, remove the seeds before.
Red and Yellow Bell Peppers- I prefer to use colored peppers for a fresh, crisp bite. They are sweeter and juicier than green peppers.
Onion- Red onions are my favourite and I totally prefer them in my salad. However, you can use any other onion if you don't like them.
Jalapeno- This is totally optional but I love the kick.
Tomatoes- Any type of juicy tomatoes, not too ripe though. Remove the seeds and chop them finely.
Cilantro or Mint- You need tons of herbs for that mind blowing freshness.
Dijon Mustard- I love the flavor of dijon mustard and totally admire how convenient it is to use it as a dressing or marinade.
Lime/Lemon- For that tanginess in the dressing.
Olive Oil- A good quality fruity olive oil makes all the difference. I have used extra virgin olive oil.
Red Pepper Flakes- Totally optional.
Maple Syrup- For a light hint of sweetness.
Salt and Black Pepper
How to Cook Perfect Lentils-
Perfectly cooked lentils are the soul of this dish. When cooking them, keep in mind that they need to have a bite in them. Hence, no soaking overnight is required. I just rinse them properly under running water a few times and soak them in a sufficient amount of water for 30 minutes. Then, cook them on the stovetop by boiling them. Here, using the pressure cooker is not at all required. Pressure-cooked lentils do not have crunch, body, or bite left in them. Add a little bit of salt to them. That will ensure a great tasting salad base.
How To Store-
Meal planning could be a breeze on weekdays because of this salad. Store in glass containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Do not add the dressing. Grill or bake any protein or vegan main to serve with the dish. Then, your dinner or lunch is taken care of!
What Are Some Other Variations?
Add any type of protein with this, and that will serve as a complete meal. I prefer to serve grilled paneer, tofu, or cauliflower with this salad. In fact, you can serve this as a lentil taco. You can also have eggs with this salad if you are watching your weight. Just use a tortilla and some avocado and a few roasted cauliflower or tofu /anything of your choice. I am sure you will enjoy this as much as our family does.
You May Also Want to Check Out These Other Lentil Recipes-
- ½ Cup Uncooked Brown Lentils/ Saboot Masoor dal
- 1 Cup Chopped English Cucumber
- ⅓ Cup Chopped Red Pepper
- ⅓ Cup Chopped yellow Pepper
- ½ Cup Chopped Tomato(Remove the seeds)
- ¼ Cup Chopped Red Onion
- ¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro and Mint
- ¼ Cup Jalapeno,chopped
For the dressing
- ¼ Cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Tsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbsp Lime/Lemon Juice
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- Wash lentils under running tap water .
- In a pan combine lentils with 3 cups of water and ½ tsp of salt .
- Bring it to a boil and turn down the flame low.
- Cook it for 12-13 minutes for till they are tender and firm .Remember you dont need to to cook it mushy .
- Strain the lentils after cooking. Leave it on the strainer to make sure its totally dry .
- Chop all the vegetable .
- Whisk everything required to make dressing .
- Mix everything together and drizzle dressing on top of it .
- Mix it nicely and keep it in the fridge for flavours to get mixed up..
- Serve and enjoy.