Ketmala’s French Lentil Salad

I LOVE lentils and they sure come in many varieties and colors – black, green, red, brown, yellow are the most common and they can be used in many savory dishes as well as sweet desserts. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber and iron.

I often cook with them, especially my French Lentil Salad of course. My children love this version I created for a picnic a few years ago, since then the recipe has become rather popular amongst our families, friends and at any gatherings.

Make it your favorite lentil salad too and let me know what do you think!

Ketmala’s French Lentil Salad



Cooked Lentils:

1 pound (450 g) of French lentils*, approximately 2 1/2 cups
1 small onion, halved
1 large clove garlic, halved
1 small turnip, halved, optional
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Put the lentils in a colander, sort through them, discard any small rocks, rinse and drain. Place the lentils, onion, garlic, small turnip if using, bay leaf and salt into a large 6-quart saucepan and cover with water by 2 to 3 inches. Place over high heat and bring just to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low, cook lentils uncover until they are tender, approximately 20 to 25 minutes depending on the type of lentils you are using. Drain any remaining liquid and discard the onion, garlic, turnip and bay leaf. Stir in black pepper and salt to taste. Serve immediately, at room temperature or refrigerate for 3 days.
*You could also pre-soak the lentils for 8 hours, thus reducing the cooking time to about 15 to 18 minutes and increasing the bioavailability of the nutrients and easy digestion.

French Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
2/3 extra virgin olive oil 
3 teaspoons French Dijon mustard (get a good one) 
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 English cucumber with skin on, cored, seeded, diced
2 medium tomatoes, seeded, diced
2 oz goat cheese (optional or omit for vegan)
1 shallot or 2 green onions, minced (optional)
2 Tablespoons of flat Italian parsley, minced & for garnish
1 recipe cooked French lentils, see recipe above


Whisk the mustard, salt, pepper, lemon juice or vinegar and oil together in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a glass jar until ready to use while the lentils are cooking. (Can be made ahead). Clean the cucumber, cut in half, take off the seeds if you wish, cut in sticks, then little dices. Clean the tomatoes, but in quarter, take off seeds (to avoid too much liquid in the final salad) and cut in length, then little dices. In a large bowl, put the cooked lentils, the diced cucumber and tomatoes, mix in with 1/2 cup of dressing. Sprinkle with freshly minced flat Italian parsley, shallot or green onions and goat cheese (if using) and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Top with extra minced flat Italian parsley for garnish. Serve warm, at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold later. Keep the left-over dressing for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, it is good with any other salads or as a quick marinade. You could use half of the ingredients for the dressing recipe if you prefer to have no left over.
 Notes from Ketmala:  I cook my lentils in the morning if I plan on serving them the same day for lunch or dinner. You could certainly cook them ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator once they have cool down.
Cooked lentils can be eaten hot or cold and added to any recipe calling for lentils such as soups, stews, vegetarian burgers, stuffings or as a side dish. When you make the recipe for a picnic, just take your cold lentils and break them apart with a fork or use your hands (best kitchen tool) in a large bowl or container, then layer on top the diced cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, shallot or green onion, goat cheese (if using). Bring the dressing along and mix it well before serving. Once you have mixed in the dressing with the cooked lentils then it is best to eat the salad within 3 days.
You could thinly slice your cucumber instead of dicing it adding a little twist on the recipe and use minced red/yellow/orange bell pepper instead of the tomato. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or hemp seeds for extra crunch and goodness! 


3 thoughts on “Ketmala’s French Lentil Salad

  1. Pingback: Kid-Friendly Lentil Soup |

  2. Pingback: Kid-Friendly Lentil Soup | Smart Eating For Kids

  3. Pingback: Kid-Friendly Lentil Soup – Smart Eating for Kids – Staging


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