I’ve been making this lentil salad for years and it’s perfect for when you need to clean up your diet a bit and want to eat a little lighter. This lentil salad can be made the night before (I like it best cold anyway) and is great for a sack lunch or picnic meal. The clean, crisp flavors of its light and bright lemony vinaigrette make it perfect for warm, sunny days!
If you want to bulk up the lunch, add in a little shredded rotisserie chicken.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup lentils, dry (use whatever color you prefer, I often use green and red)
- 1 1/4 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced onions
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
- Combine the lentils (no need to pre-soak), carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaf and thyme in a large pot. Add water to cover the ingredients, plus 1 inch.
- Over high heat, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are tender, but not mushy.
- Drain and remove the bay leaf.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, celery, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss with lentil salad just before eating.
- If you're making the vinaigrette ahead of time, leave the celery and parsley in a separate container and add to the vinaigrette at the last minute to prevent them from getting soggy. You want the celery to stay crunchy for texture.