Not So Traditional French Lentil Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Brightened with carrots and a snappy vinaigrette and nutty crunchiness this could easily become your go-to salad because it's fast, easy, budget-friendly, and keeps for days!
Course: Salad, Side
Cuisine: French
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Priscilla
  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill French green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 carrot peeled and finely diced, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 small red onion peeled and finely diced, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 rib celery finely diced, about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces Cabot Cheese sharp white cheddar sliced and cut into small cubes, about 1 cup*
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer Lemon olive oil
  • 1 small shallot peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt-free citrus and pepper spice blend
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Rinse the lentils and put them in a saucepan with 2 cups water, the bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the finely diced vegetables and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the lentils are tender; be careful not to overcook.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, make the dressing. Add all the ingredients to a lidded glass jar and shake to emulsify.
  3. Drain the lentils well, remove the bay leaf and thyme (if you used fresh sprigs) and put in a large glass bowl. Mix in half of the dressing and the parsley, wait to add the nuts and cheese until just before serving. The salad can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Bring the salad to room temperature before serving and reseason with the remaining dressing if necessary. Toss with nuts and cheese.
Recipe Notes

*Eliminate or use vegan cheese for vegan or dairy free
Adapted from David Leibovitz French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts, page 234 of My Paris Kitchen.
I adapted his recipe to make it low sodium by incorporating a Citrus Pepper blend for flavor instead of salt. He also suggests using half walnut oil and half olive oil, and I substituted Meyer lemon oil because its bright citrus notes also compensate for the lack of salt (plus I used pecans instead of walnuts in the salad).
Also, an aged cheese such as Cabot Creamery Aged Vermont White Cheddar packs a ton of flavor in those tiny cubes.