Lentil Salad with Toasted Almonds

Recipe: Lentil Salad with Toasted Almonds

Makes : 4 to 6 servings | Salads/Sides Dairy Free , Vegan , Vegetarian Print
You can use regular brown or green lentils for this salad, but to elevate it to something special, try the French green “verte du Puy” lentils or black “beluga” lentils. These varieties hold their shape well, making them a perfect choice for salads. Just avoid red lentils, which will completely disintegrate during cooking. Serve the salad as-is or toss some baby spinach or mixed salad greens with a quick vinaigrette (3 parts olive oil: 1 part wine vinegar, salt & pepper) and mound the warm lentils on top.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups lentils, preferably French green lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons wine vinegar (divided)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Put the lentils in a medium saucepan with the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. (You want the lentils to remain whole; avoid overcooking them or they’ll start to break down.) Drain and return to the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Mix gently and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Combine the cooked lentils with the vegetables.
  • In a small frying pan, toast the almonds over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Or put them in a baking dish and toast them in a 350° oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Just before serving, stir the almonds, parsley, and pepper into the lentil mixture. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or vinegar if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Adapted from a recipe I developed for Food & Wine’s “Quick From Scratch: Vegetable Main Dishes.”

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