Lentil Salad with Currants and Mint

January 25th, 2011 at 1:01 pm
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Ah, the mighty lentil. So little credit given, so much deserved.

A nutrient powerhouse, lentils offer an excellent source of fiber and plant-based protein along with vitamins and minerals. All that aside, they also lend themselves well to virtually any palette of flavors. Go Middle-Eastern with cumin and lemon zest. Try Tex-Mex with cilantro, lime, and corn. The variations on lentil salads, soups, and stir-fries are endless.

I’m a lentil-lover through and through. Although I’ll be honest here and admit that I don’t usually cook my beans from scratch (time is not on my side these days!), I can usually manage to simmer a pot of lentils for 30-40 minutes most days. Because they do not require soaking, lentils are an easy go-to protein source and pair perfectly with a vast range of vegetables, herbs, and spices.

I had meant to get this recipe posted before New Year’s, believe it or not. Lentils, because they look like tiny coins, are said to be a symbol of good luck and fortune. In many countries, lentils are served on New Year’s Eve as a way of ushering in a prosperous New Year.

So what if I’m a month late? I’ll take a dose of good fortune (along with good fiber) any old time.

Lentil Salad with Mint and Currants

Serves 4 as a side

 

1 cup French green lentils (also called De Puy lentils), rinsed and drained

1 cinnamon stick

2 stalks celery, peeled and finely chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

 ¼ cup yellow onion, finely chopped

¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

¼ cup dried currants

1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon granulated garlic

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  1. In a medium pot, cover lentils and cinnamon stick with 3-4 cups water. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until lentils are just tender to bite but not falling apart, 30-35 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add celery, tomatoes, onion, parsley, currants, and mint to the bowl with the lentils. Stir to combine. In a small bowl whisk together the cumin, granulated garlic, coriander, olive oil, and vinegar. Pour over salad and toss to coat evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve salad at room temperature.

More lentil-licious recipes for all you legume-lovers:

Looking for more dead-of-winter recipe inspiration? Check out Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

Comments

  1. I’ve bookmarked this as I can eat it on the fast thing I’m currently on and it looks delicious to boot! I also love how you don’t have to soak lentils as much as beans – it’s so time consuming.

  2. My mouth is watering looking at that recipe! Lentils, mint, garlic, cumin! All my favorite things! My MIL would love this. I’m going to make it for her, thanks for the recipe :)

  3. I love the mix of earthy lentils and fresh herbs here. yum! You might try to cook beans in the handy-dandy slow cooker – SO much better than canned, and next to no effort. (for me, they digest easier that way too)

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.