This Lemony Lentil Salad has a bright citrus dressing and is full of crunchy vegetables and fresh herbs! It’s perfect when packed for lunch or a picnic. Vegan and gluten-free!
For salad base:
- 1 cup dried brown lentils
- 2 and 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane
- 2 inches of lemon peel
- 3 bay leaves
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 large cucumber, chopped
- 1 large red pepper, chopped
- 2 large bunches parsley, minced
- 1/2 cup feta cheese of choice (dairy-free as needed, see note to make your own vegan feta)
For Lemon Herb Dressing:
- 2 tsp lemon zest, from one organic lemon (see this tutorial for how to zest)
- 3 TBS fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 of that first lemon)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or oregano, or both)
- 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
- Rinse lentils in a fine mesh strainer. In a medium pot, bring water and lentils to a boil along with garlic, lemon peel, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until water is absorbed. Be sure to check at the 15 min mark (you don’t want lentils to get mushy). Stir a few times so they do not stick to the pan.
- Remove lentils from stove and using a spoon, pick out bay leaves, larger garlic pieces, and lemon peel. Add lentils to a large bowl along with tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, and parsley.
- Prepare dressing by adding all ingredients into a sealable jar and shake until incorporated. Drizzle dressing over lentil/veggie mixture and stir to coat. If using feta, crumble on top of the salad.
- Store lentil salad covered, in the fridge, for 4-5 days.
If you’d like to make almond feta, you will need 1/2 cup blanched almonds, 1 and 1/2 TBS lemon juice, 1 TBS olive oil, 1/2 TBS nutritional yeast, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk.
To prepare almond feta: Soak the almonds in water overnight, or in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain and blend with lemon juice, olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, and almond milk. Let blend until no large nut pieces remain. Pour mixture into a cheese cloth or thin towel and squeeze out excess moisture. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet. Drop cheese onto sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and firm. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: Boiling
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Serving Size: One sixth of recipe
- Calories: 234 grams
- Sugar: 3.3 grams
- Sodium: 224.2 milligrams
- Fat: 12.7 grams
- Saturated Fat: 1.8 grams
- Unsaturated Fat: 10.9 grams
- Trans Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 23.6 grams
- Fiber: 7.5 grams
- Protein: 9.4 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Keywords: lentil, salad, picnic