It’s just about the simplest salad in the world to make, but something about the combination of cool, zesty, healthy ingredients here just works.
We’re talking lots of tender protein-packed lentils, refreshing cool cucumber, zesty red onions, tomatoes, lots and lots of chopped fresh mint, and a bright lemon dressing that brings it all together.
It’s easy to make in the time that it takes you to simmer a batch of lentils in a flavourful broth.
It’s naturally vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.
It works great as a side salad or main dish (especially for healthy meal prep lunches!). Not to mention it tastes so refreshing and delicious!!
To make this easy lentil salad recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Cucumber: finely diced (also peeled and/or deseeded, if you prefer).
- Red onion: Feel free to briefly rinse and drain the diced red onion in running water, if you would like to cut the onion-y flavour a bit. Or if you love red onion as much as I do, just add it straight to the salad!
- Fresh mint/coriander/parsley: I adore the burst of fresh mint, the flavor of parsley and coriander in this salad, which pairs beautifully with the bright lemony dressing.
- Tomatoes: Use fresh tomatoes if they happen to be in season, otherwise feel free to sub your favorite sun-dried tomatoes, as I totally love the rich flavour of these crunchy vegetables in the salad.
- Lemon dressing: I just used my favorite everyday salad dressing here, made with an extra squeeze of lemon juice. It’s easy to whip up with olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Lentils: I recommend using either brown, green, or French green lentils in this salad, as those varieties each have great flavor and hold their shape well once cooked. (I have used whole red lentils called Masoor dal in this recipe)
How to choose Sweet potatoes ?
Look for small to medium sweet potatoes, which are sweet and creamy. (The larger ones tend to be starchier.) The skin should be firm, smooth, and even-toned. The deeper the color of the potato, in general, the richer it is in the antioxidant beta-carotene.
This recipe calls for 2 sweet potatoes which are roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Thus making the salad more wholesome.
There are endless ways that you could customize this lentil salad recipe, so have fun and get creative with it! We also love to…
- Add cheese: Some crumbled goat, feta, cheddar cheese is absolutely delicious in this lentil salad.
- Add olives: Also, kalamata olives or any other Mediterranean olives you love.
- Cook the lentils in water: Though I highly recommend cooking them in veggie broth, but add bay leaf and some herbs and boil in water if broth not available.
- Use different herbs: If mint isn’t your thing, this lentil salad would also be absolutely delicious with fresh basil, parsley or dill, mint, and coriander.
- Use quinoa or brown rice: Feel free to swap brown rice or quinoa in place of the lentils anytime too!
For Roasted Sweet potato
- 2 medium-sized sweet potato 500-600 grams
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Lentils
- 2 cups green lentil
- 1 stick of celery chopped 3’’ long
- Peel of a lemon
- 2 cups vegetable broth or
- Water with 1 organic bouillon cube +bayleaf+ or only water
- ⅓ cup virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup sliced tomatoes
- 1 onion sliced
- 100 grams feta/goat/cheddar cheese cubes
- 2 cups coarsely chopped mint/coriander/parsley. or combination
- To serve
- 1 head of lettuce to serve
- Lemon slices
- Mix all the ingredients and keep aside for the flavours to infuse and grow.
- Slices the sweet potatoes into a 1’’ cube and drizzles olive oil. salt and pepper. Rub well and bake at 200 degrees centigrade for 30 minutes or more till the potatoes are cooked through but not very soft and mushy.
- On the stovetop in a pan add 2 cups of water/broth and the washed green lentils.
- Add the celery and lemon zest and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Drain and remove celery and lemon peel and keep aside. (it's ok if some lemon peels are left behind as it adds tons of flavour )Cool or keep warm as per choice.
- In a salad bowl add the boiled beans, add the chopped tomatoes, onion slices, coarsely chopped coriander/parsley, and cheese cubes.
- Add the dressing and mix well.
- Add the roasted potatoes saving some for topping later
- Serve the salad on a bed of lettuce topped with the baked potatoes and lemon wedges.
- Enjoy this salad warm in winters and cold in summers.
- Green lentils are full of flavour and easy to cook while holding shape which is why this lentil is used.
- Use tomatoes instead of cherry or sun-dried tomatoes
- Use leaves like parsley/coriander/arugula/kale/lettuce as per choice and availability.
- Use white potatoes or aubergine in place of sweet potatoes.
- You could substitute apple cider vinegar with balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon in the dressing recipe as per choice.