Clean flavors, crisp textures and colorful fresh vegetables make French Green Lentil Salad a great addition to summer menus. Crisp and colorful with summer’s juicy, ripe tomatoes and refreshing cucumbers. Clean and bright with the garden’s bounty of fresh parsley, mint, oregano and scallions. Healthy and wholesome with earthy French green du Puy lentils. And all tossed together with a tangy Sherry-Mustard Vinaigrette. French Green Lentil Salad travels well, whether to work, a picnic, a potluck or to your patio table. This salad’s destined to become a summertime favorite.
French green lentils
Du Puy lentils, also known as French green lentils, provide the hearty and flavorful foundation of this summer salad. These tiny, mottled, bluish-green lentils have a richer and earthier flavor than other lentil varieties. Plus they hold their texture and maintain their shape when cooked. Rather important attributes for a salad.
French green du Puy lentils can be found in the bulk section of natural food markets. Though, I’ve recently learned that these bulk lentils may only be cousins to the French-born du Puy lentils. (Some go so far as to call them “imposters.”) Authentic, and quite a bit more expensive French lentilles du Puy, grown in the volcanic soil of the central southern region of Auvergne, can be purchased online.
I love walking out the patio door and cutting fresh herbs. Visibly vibrant, just touching their leaves releases their fragrance into the air. We’re currently growing the culinary basics in our very small patio plot. Arugula, basil, chives, mint, oregano, parsley (both flat leaf and curly) and thyme. Being considerably less expensive to grow your own fresh herbs, it’s easy and delightful to add extravagant amounts of them to most everything.
Freshly harvested herbs taste so much better than buying the herbs scrunched up in a plastic box on a grocery store shelf. During the winter months, though, even those little plastic boxes become a treat.
A great make-ahead salad recipe. With the added boon that it travels well—to work, a picnic, a potluck or to your patio table. For the best flavor, wait 15-30 minutes before serving French Green Lentil Salad lightly chilled or at room temperature.
Serves 4 as an entrée salad; 8+ as a side-salad Printer-Friendly Recipe.
Total Time 1 hour
1 cup French green lentils (du Puy lentils), uncooked
1 garlic clove, peeled, halved
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons homemade Country-Style Mustard or other whole-grain mustard
1 large garlic clove, pressed
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
8 twists freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups ¼-inch diced tomatoes
1 cup peeled, quartered, seeded ¼-inch sliced cucumbers
1/3 cup pitted, quartered Kalamata olives
3 ounces diced feta cheese
1 cup fresh mint leaves, lightly packed
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, lightly packed
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves lightly packed,
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
Salt & pepper to taste
- Cook the lentils. Place the lentils in a saucepan with the garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and 2 ½ cups water. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pan. Cook the lentils for 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain and cool, discarding the garlic. (Save the cooking liquid for soup stock.)
- Make the vinaigrette. In a large bowl mix the mustard, garlic vinegar, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. Use a whisk to slowly add the olive oil. Set aside.
- Prepare the salad ingredients. Dice the tomatoes, cucumbers and feta. Coarsely chop the mint, parsley and oregano. Thinly slice the scallions. Quarter the Kalamatas.
- Assemble the salad. When the lentils are cool, toss them in the large bowl with the Sherry-Mustard Vinaigrette. Add the rest of the ingredients and gently toss together. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
- For the best flavor, wait 15-30 minutes before serving French Green Lentil Salad lightly chilled or at room temperature. French Green Lentil Salad can be made up to two days in advance.