Green Lentil Salad with Spices & Yogurt


This is my first time cooking with green lentils, lentilles du Puy to be exact. They're from France and are the most fantastic lentils in the world according to David Lebovitz. And I would agree that they have a unique taste all on their own (has something to do with volcanic soil). I'm quickly becoming a fan. I found a recipe for a lentil salad in Greens cookbook, it's vegetarian and tastes really good. Greens restaurant has such amazing vegetarian food and I'm hoping to learn as much as I can with this book.

I made a few changes since I didn't have champagne vinegar, the one I have is  an orange champagne vinegar, I didn't want to mess with the flavors and used a white balsamic vinegar as replacement, I was also out of red bell pepper and used orange bell pepper, out of coriander AND fresh cilantro, so I used some frozen cilantro as a replacement. If you've never seen it Trader Joes sells a package of little cubes of frozen cilantro, not the same as fresh, but better than dried and better than none at all when you want that flavor. I really like this salad and happy to have discovered lentils du puy! Recipe below.

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Green Lentil Salad with Spices & Yogurt
(adapted from Greens "Field of Greens" cookbook)

  • 1 1/2 cup french green lentils
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup plan yogurt
  • Champagne vinegar*
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice  (strained)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin**
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley

Rinse the lentils and place in pot with 4 1/2 cups water and add bay leaf. Bring to boil and reduce heat, simmer for about 20 minutes until tender (you may have to taste test at this point to make sure they're not over or under cooked).

In another pot boil some water, add the onion for 15 seconds and remove with strainer, place in bowl and add a tablespoon or so of vinegar. Next add the carrots to the boiling water, cook for a minute then drain and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the yogurt, lemon juice, spices, 1 tablespoon vinegar, salt and pepper.

When the lentils are done remove the bay leaf and toss them in with yogurt mixture, onion, carrot and bell pepper.

Top with cilantro or parsley.

* white balsamic can be used as alternative

** the recipe calls for cumin seeds toasted and ground, I didn't realize this until I was close to finishing up so I just used the cumin powder.