lentils at the country house

June 30, 2006

Another food post…hhmm. My domestic urges seem to be getting the best of me these days. I hope to have a post with a bit more thought in it sometime soon. For now, here’s another recipe for another summer salad. It was made for a family weekend in the country where there will be much barbequing of meats and thus a vegetarian dish was requested. Hopefully the non-vegetarians will also enjoy.

This recipe is loosely based (and I mean *loosely*) on this recipe from Epicurious for a “Garden Lentil Salad.” I started with the lentils, kept the radishes, black olives, and parsley, and basically ran with it after that. This salad has a complicated flavor. I like two kinds of mild onions (red onions and scallions) and arugula is one of my favorite summer additions to grain/bean based salads. The co-op has the most delicious organic arugula right now (among many other greens I cannot identify but hope to experiment with in the coming weeks). The recipe, as I made it, is as follows:

1 1/4 cups French lentils* (about 8 ounces)
20-30 small cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch of scallions and half a red onion
1/2 cup chopped trimmed radishes (see this post for radish tips)
1/3 cup chopped or halved pitted brine-cured black olive (such as Kalamata)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 bunch chopped arugula

olive oil (to taste)
juice of 2 lemons
salt and pepper

  1. Boil the lentils for about 20 minutes, drain, set aside. (you can add some salt and a bay leaf for extra flavor if you like).
  2. Prep your tomatoes, scallions, onion, radishes, and olives. Add to the lentils once they’ve cooled.
  3. Add parsley and arugula the day you plan to eat the salad – if you cook it in advance, wash and chop them and set aside until before you serve them. Otherwise, they may get soggy.
  4. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper just before serving. Don’t add too much salt because the olives are quite salty.

*French lentils are a brown, and a bit rounder than normal lentils (rather than flat). They’re great for salads because they keep their shape when you cook them.



  1. that looks so very yummy, salty femme!! what is your inspiration for summer salads? you could also add roasted golden beets. So sweet and delicious!

  2. thanks, Miya Z! My inspiration is whatever looks delicious at the coop. I am also inspired by contrasting flavors and colors. And the clouds in the sky. Just kidding. I love beets, I actually bought a beet to add to this salad but decided it would be too much. Perhaps for the next one. Stay tuned!

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