lentil salad two ways

August 8, 2010

vgourmet, Ruth Richardson, vegan lentil salad

Lentil Salad with Cumin Mustard Dressing

I was craving lentil salad the other day and started going through my cookbooks to find one that would totally hit the spot. This was harder than I expected, as it turned out, since my craving wasn’t just any craving – it was specific to a mustardy-cumin-infused-shallot-rich-lentil-salad-perfect-for-lunches kind of taste. So, as is my tendency, I decided to take about 4 recipes and mash them up until I had one that seemed to me to be the perfect answer to my craving. It was pretty close. I would still like to tweak it a bit but I left the lunch table totally satisfied, and happy that there were left-overs for the next day.


2 cups du puys lentils

6 cups water

2 bay leaves

2 tsps fresh thyme

3 cloves garlic, peeled


Variety vegetables, finely chopped and sauteed


1 shallot

3 tbsps sherry vinegar

2 tsps dijon

2 tbsps lemon juice

1 1/2 tsps cumin

3/4 cup olive oil

Rinse the lentils. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the lentils, water, bay leaves, thyme, and garlic to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, choose a variety of vegetables (I used what happened to be in the fridge – 3 yellow carrots, a yellow zucchini, a small leek, 2 ears of fresh corn), chopped finely and saute in olive oil until just tender. Set aside.

Drain the lentils and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Remove the garlic, mash it, and set it aside for the dressing.

For the dressing, chop shallots finely and soak in sherry vinegar and a little salt for at least 15 minutes or longer to sweeten the shallots. Add dijon, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper, and the mashed garlic set aside from the lentils. Mix well. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you whisk briskly.

When lentils are cool, toss with the sauteed vegetables and dressing. Adjust seasoning and serve at room temperature.

Andrea’s Assiniboine Salad with herbs

Last summer we went to Calgary to visit friends. In an attempt to accommodate my growing vegan-like diet they made a lentil salad for dinner one night. We had left-overs so we brought it with us to Mount Assiniboine Lodge where we were headed for the long weekend. To this day, every time I eat it I think of how much fun we had, how much I love those guys, and how much we wish they could live closer! Funny that. Food is such an emotional thing with so many deep associations. I don’t know where the recipe is from but, to me, it will always be Andrea’s Assiniboine Salad.

2 cups green lentils

1-2  carrots, diced

1  onion, diced

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 medium bell peppers, roasted

2 tsp mint, chopped

3 tbsps fresh herbs – parsley, marjoram, cilantro, basil, thyme, chopped

8 oz feta (optional)

Lemon Vinaigrette

juice of one lemon

1/4 tsp paprika

pinch cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp sea salt

6-8 tbsps olive oil

Cook lentils in water with carrots, onions, bay leaf, garlic and salt. Drain when lentils are soft. Add chopped roasted peppers, chopped mint, herbs and feta. Toss with lemon vinaigrette. Serve and enjoy warm or cold.