Lentils are a funny little legume. They’re teeny tiny little bits of awesome. They aren’t particularly pretty or glamorous, but lentils are affordable and nourishing. Bonus: lentils are also super delicious.
I cook with lentils often. And by often, I mean I make the same two lentil recipes over and over and over again: this Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup with Cilantro and Bacon and this crazy delicious Lentil Salad. I’m sorry to all other lentil salads out there, but this is my favorite lentil salad. It’s just so unexpected and awesome. The lentils are mixed with dried cranberries, capers, goat cheese, greens, and a phenomenal dressing that uses every spice in the cabinet. (If you think I’m kidding, look at the recipe. So. Many. Spices.)
I don’t know what else to say about this lentil salad. It’s wonderful and delicious and I make it all the time. I love it, my husband loves it, even the baby loves it. Just give it a try, and I bet this will quickly become your favorite lentil salad. Just make sure your spice pantry is well-stocked before you attempt to make the dressing because it uses a LOT of spices. (I noticed that this recipe really taps into “The C Spices”: cardamom, cayenne, cloves, coriander, cumin, cinnamon. So if you find yourself making this salad without a recipe, just toss in all the c spices and a few others and you’ll be fine!)
Oh, one last note! The original recipe calls for dried lentils (which then have to be cooked), but I’m lazy and I skip that step and just buy the pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s and thus this salad is the easiest EVER. No cooking required. Thank goodness for the magic of TJ’s.
- 1 pound cooked lentils
- 1 shallot, sliced thinly
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup capers
- 1/3 cup goat cheese crumbles
- A few handfuls of arugula or spinach
- Optional add ins: fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped pecans or almonds, green onions.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- Place all dressing ingredients in a small mason jar and give it a good shake until combined.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked lentils, dried cranberries, capers, and sliced shallots. Toss with the dressing. Gently fold in the greens and half of the crumbled goat cheese, stir to coat. Before serving, crumble the rest of the goat cheese atop the salad. Serve at room temperature.
- This salad keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
Adapted from My New Roots