Mediterranean Lentil Salad
Healthy and easy salads are a must! This Mediterranean lentil salad is well-balanced, delicious, and so good for you. Loaded with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, parsley, spinach, and feta cheese.
Servings: 4 people
- 1 cup dry brown lentils (not red or yellow lentils)
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves, packed
- 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups diced English cucumbers
- 1/2 cup chopped Italian or curly parsley
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
- 1/4 cup diced red onions (optional)
- 1/2 cup diced green bell peppers (optional)
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1 to 2 teaspoons honey, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the lentils. Bring to a light boil again, and then bring down to low heat. Simmer gently, covered, until tender but not mushy, about 16-20 minutes (Note: a very gentle simmer will prevent the skin from peeling too much). Drain any excess water. Transfer the lentils to a shallow bowl and let them cool slightly.
Meanwhile, make the dressing: combine all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake well to combine. Adjust to taste.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked lentils, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, parsley, feta cheese, olives, and spinach. If using, add the onions and green bell peppers too. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Enjoy!
- Don’t use red or yellow lentils because these will disintegrate when cooked.
- Rinse the lentils to remove any impurities.
- Simmer very gently: To prevent lentils from peeling or from becoming mushy, cook on a very gentle simmer.
- Texture of the lentils: I like my lentils a bit firm (but not undercooked), so I simmer them for about 16-18 minutes. Taste them at this point, and if needed, continue cooking until cooked to your liking.
- Make ahead: Both the lentils and the vinaigrette can be made 1 day in advance. You can also assemble the salad 1 day in advance, but add the vinaigrette when ready to serve to prevent it from getting soggy.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.