This simple lentil salad is easy to assemble and deliciously satisfying, a recipe from Ottolenghi that uses herbs, red onions and a light oil and vinegar dressing, to infuse the lentils with fresh delicate flavors. It works well as a side dish to accompany meat or fish, or as a vegetarian main dish.
I love serving this lentil salad as part of a summer buffet with grilled beef or fish. I particularly love lentils with salmon and, in fact, first started making this lentil salad as component of my salmon niçoise salad.
Lentils are highly nutritious, easy to prepare and adaptive to many different preparations, from aromatic Moroccan lentil soup to rich meaty stew. They can be eaten warm or cold. Dried lentils are a great pantry item to keep on hand. They can be stored in an airtight container for a year. When you’re wondering what to make for dinner, you can easily throw together this nutritious tasty lentil salad. You probably already have all the other ingredients on hand: an onion, a garlic clove, vinegar, salt, pepper and some fresh herbs.
How To Make This Lentil Salad
This dish is ready in 30 minutes with only about ten minutes of hands-on work.
A thinly sliced red onion is soaked in vinegar, which softens the onion and mellows its flavor. Meanwhile the lentils are simmered for about 20 minutes, drained, and tossed with the onion and vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. When the lentils are cool, they’re tossed with herbs and feta.
To Prepare This Salad Ahead:
If preparing this lentil salad in advance, cook the lentils, mix them with the onions, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Refrigerate them for up to two days. Bring the them to room temperature, and toss them with herbs and cheese just before serving.
Ottolenghi’s Original Lentil Salad Recipe:
I adapted this lentil salad from a recipe in Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty. The original recipe calls for Castellucio lentils from Umbria, and includes oven-dried tomatoes and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese. All delicious I’m sure! But Ottolenghi’s lentil salad is also quite wonderful pared down to this very simple preparation with vinegar-soaked onions and fresh herbs.
Which Lentils are Best for Lentil Salad?
While I agree that Castellucio Lentils have some wonderful attributes – such as holding their shape beautifully when cooked – I’ve found this salad to be equally delicious using brown, green or French Le Puy lentils. If you can find Castellucio lentils, give them a try but feel assured that you will have great results using these other lentil options. I don’t, however, advise using red lentils, as they are extremely delicate and won’t hold their shape for a salad.
You make also like:
- Mediterranean Rice Salad
- Thai Cucumber Salad
- Hearts of Palm Salad with Artichoke Hearts, cucumbers, avocados and Cherry Tomatoes
- Corn Tomato Avocado Salad
Here’s the Ottolenghi Lentil Salad Recipe. If you try this I hope you’ll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think.Print
Ottolenghi’s Lentil Salad with Herbs
A light and delicious lentil salad with fresh herbs and Feta.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 20 min
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 5-6 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: boil
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- 1 ½ cups dried brown, green, Le Puy or Castellucio lentils (Ottolenghi prefers Castelluccio lentils), rinsed and picked over.
- 1 small red onion, peeled, halved and very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt or more, to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 3–4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs such as chives, tarragon, mint or parsley. Choose 2-3 different herbs for enhanced depth of flavor.
- 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into small cubes or crumbled
- In a small bowl toss sliced onion with vinegar and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Set aside while you cook the lentils. (soaking will soften the onions and mellow their flavor)
- Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the lentils, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 18-22 minutes or until lentils are cooked but not mushy. Check for doneness starting at 18 minutes. Drain and transfer lentils to a large bowl. While lentils are hot, toss with the olive oil (4 tablespoons), onions with their vinegar, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper, to taste. Stir and season with additional salt, if needed. (Salad can be made ahead to this point. See notes, below)
- Allow lentils to cool to room temperature and toss with herbs and feta. Serve at room temperature.
Make This Vegan: To make this vegan, omit the feta. This salad is delicious with or without cheese.
Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare the salad through step two. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two days. Bring to room temperature and proceed with step three.
Nutrition Information: The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.
Keywords: lentil salad with feta and herbs