French lentil salad

French lentil salad

This is a great recipe for summer picnics. It can be easily modified. Try substituting any whole grain (farro, quinoa, millet) or legume (garbanzo beans, cannellini beans) for the French lentils. Experiment with seasonal vegetables and herbs!

The nutrition behind the dish:

  • Lentils: Carbohydrate, protein, fiber, folate, iron, copper, thiamin, manganese, selenium, potassium
  • Red bell pepper: Fiber, vitamins: C, A, E and B6
  • Tomato: Fiber, vitamins: A, C, K, and potassium
  • Cucumber: Vitamins: K, A, C and fiber
  • Garlic: Vitamins: C, B6, manganese and calcium
  • Mint, dill, parsley: Vitamins: K, A, C and folate
  • Lime juice: Vitamin C, carbohydrate (fructose)

Recipe adapted from Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives. The Culinary Institute of America

Servings: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups French De Puy lentils (or similar)
  • 2 roasted bell peppers (red and/or yellow), chopped
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 medium cucumber, 1/2 inch dice, peeled if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice (2 limes) or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime or lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Cover lentils with water in a small saucepan, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender, but still a little firm, about 25 to 30 minutes. (Or use pre-cooked lentils.)
  2. For the vinaigrette: in a jar, combine the lime juice, lemon zest, cumin, paprika, cayenne, garlic, and salt. The dressing is tart! Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  3. Drain the lentils and toss them while warm with the vinaigrette, peppers, parsley, dill, and mint.
  4. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Mound the lentils on a platter and garnish with the tomatoes and cucumber. Serve warm or cold.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 280
  • Total fat: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 160 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 52 g
  • Dietary fiber: 13 g
  • Total sugars: 8 g
  • Protein: 17 g