Simple Lentil Salad


Graced with basil, red pepper and cucumber, a simple lentil salad is tossed with a vinaigrette. A perfect light dish for a hot afternoon.

Today I have so much to do (partly for my class tonight) I will be brief here. But does anyone have any good natural tips for keeping bugs from eating all of my herbs and plants up? My poor basil is a skeleton now. Good thing I made this salad before they completely ate it all up!

I used french green lentils in this recipe, which works so well for salads as they keep their shape very well.

Here is a description of them. “French green lentils = Puy lentils = lentilles du Puy = lentillesvertes du Puy Shopping hints: These choice lentils were originally grown in the volcanic soils of Puy in France, but now they’re also grown in North America and Italy. They’re especially good in salads since they remain firm after cooking and have a rich flavor. They cook a bit slower than other lentils. Substitutes: beluga lentils OR brown lentils (These don’t hold their shape as well as French green lentils.) OR masoor “



Enjoy this dish and enjoy your weekend!

Simple Lentil Salad
If you can have dairy a soft and salty cheese, like feta does wonders in a dish like this. We tossed some leftover roasted chicken into the leftovers, for a more full meal deal the next day, which was also very nice.I tried to cut the vegetables quite small so that they would match the lentils small size.

    2 cups of dry lentils (green french lentils)
    2 large bell peppers or 6 small mini ones, wash, seeded and cut into small cubes
    1/2-1 large cucumber, washed and cut into small cubes
    Handful of fresh Basil
    A few leaves of borage, optional (an herb with a cucumber taste)

    1/4 cup of raw apple cider vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)
    1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and put through a garlic press
    lots of salt and freshly ground pepper

    Extra salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil, if needed.

1-Soak lentils overnight, drain and rinse. Put into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until just soft. About 20-35 minutes.

2-Drain and rinse with cold water.

3-Add the vegetables and herbs to the lentils and gently stir in. Make up the dressing and toss with the lentil/vegetable mixture. Taste and adjust to taste. I added a few more splashes of vinegar and more salt and pepper. Enjoy right away, or chill and serve later. You may need to readjust the flavors again right before serving.

The following two tabs change content below.
I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. says

    Yay Kimi! I was just looking for a semi-replacement for our ever present tabbouleh salad, and I think this just might do it! πŸ™‚ My father bought a 25 lb bag of lentils and we’ve been trying to think of ways to use them other than soup and Indian food πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much!

    And we’ll be praying for you as you start your classes tonight! So wish I could make it!! πŸ™‚

  2. says

    Kimi- This looks delicious! We love lentils- and I love French lentils although they are pricer so I tend to reserve them for nice salads like this! Hope your class goes well, I wish you were close by us:( . Are you posting anything from the class? Please!!!

    Neem oil is a wonderful natural garden solution- you can usually find it at the heath food store. Just mix a few drops with water and spray. Sometime’s a few drops of peppermint Dr. Bronner’s mixed with water in a spray bottle helps too.

  3. says

    I’ve tried everything to keep the bugs off of my basil, including wrapping a tulle net around it! The only thing that really worked was buying a bunch of different types of basil. The bugs around here ate my sweet basil down to stems, and they seem to like thai basil too, but I’ve successfully grown another variety with tiny leaves (but BIG flavor) and one that was called “pesto basil” and had variegated leaves. Just get as many different types as you can get your hands on and see which one(s) the bugs don’t like!

  4. Spencer says

    Hi Kimi, I don’t know wether to love you or hate you because I ate half a pan of coconut fudge for dinner last night! But I really enjoyed them, what a great recipe.
    For insects in the garden I use safer soap and some vodka. The soap dissolves their protective membrain and the vodka drys them out. It has really worked good for me.
    Good luck with your class! I wish I could be there to experience some of the magic.

    • carrie raitt says

      I love this site. And if the bug spary does not work , and depression sets in , you can always drink the vodka! Voila!

  5. VickiG says

    HI Kim,
    I am really enjoying your blog. I had a problem with my basil and the plant grower I bought it from told me to put crushed egg shells around it to keeep the slugs and snails away. I did it a week ago the basil is growing like gang busters now.

    • KimiHarris says

      Hey Everyone,

      Thanks for the great tips! I will definitely be trying out some of them. Hope it works! (Though it may be too late for my poor basil plant!).

  6. says

    This Lentil Salad looks great! I’m in love with your Sprouted Wheat & Lentils that you posted a few months back, I wonder if this would be good sprouted too, or do the French Lentils not need it?
    Best wishes for your class tonight!

  7. Leesie says

    I *adore* French lentils. Here in town we have a great little French cafe restaurant that serves them as a side to many of the dishes served, sometimes for me they are better than the main entrΓ©e! I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks Kimi – and I hope tonight’s class was a smashing success ;o)

  8. says

    This looks delicious and I’ll be adding lentils to my next shopping list.

    For the bugs, if the above (awesome) recommendations don’t work: I mix a bottle with water (or vodka) and essential oils of cinnamon, peppermint and oregano. Also hot pepper juice is good (maybe just chop up a hot pepper and stick it in the bottle). The exact ratio of oils really isn’t important, you just want it spicy. This has kept all bugs off of plants and out of the house (I spray it around door frames too). Just keep it away from your eyes! If it gets in your eyes, use olive oil (on a paper towel) and not water to dilute.

  9. says

    I used this recipe more as an inspiration based on what I had on hand, as well as what I was in the mood for. Not too mention I’m allergic to bell peppers. French lentils, chopped tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, watercress and briefly sauteed shallots. Oh, and lemon thyme. Made Kimi’s dressing but used white wine vinegar. Fantastic!

  10. says

    Kimi- You are my cooking hero. I couldn’t decide what to make for dinner, but I know this will be yummy served on a bed of salad greens from the garden. Thank you for sharing your creativity. You have a wonderful blog. Every recipe I have tried so far has been a winner.

  11. cretora says

    Wow. I made this and 2 of my sons and I were taste testing. At ages 3 and 6 they were even excited about this for dinner tonight. πŸ™‚ I did a few changes-
    added 3 tomatoes
    used a whole cucumber
    1 small onion
    aged balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider
    regular mustard instead of dry mustard


    We’re your new fans from Maryland! Keep posting!!

  12. says

    This looks great! My mother is always asking me to bring a pasta salad to family picnics and my family doesn’t eat that, so this would be a great alternative! (Plus my stepfather is diabetic and shouldn’t be having pasta salad ANYWAY).

  13. Judy says

    Hello Kim,
    I love your website. I found you on Elise had mentioned one of your dishes and so I clicked over. I love your simple and easy to make recipes for small families (we are a family of 3 as well). I made your Lemon Garlic Drumsticks and the Lentil Salad last night. Everything was so easy to make and super delicious. Thanks! And I’ve even checked out the book Eat Fat Lose Fat. I look forward to making changes in this new year. Best, Judy

  14. JacLynn says

    I plant Rhue next to my basil in the garden. It keeps all the bugs off the basil plant! It is wonderful!!

  15. Kelly Scanlon says

    I made this last night and it is awesome! The basil reall brings all the flavors together. I did not have any borage, so just left that out. My 7-year-old son was eating it out of the bowl with the mixing spoon before dinner! Thanks for the great recipes!

  16. Heather says

    Thanks for this recipe! We served this to our vegetarian family members with big salads and sprouted pitas. I made a 3x recipe of the dressing, saved some to pour over our salads/pitas, and slow-cooked shrimp in the rest. Then we put out dishes of feta cheese, the shrimp, and different fresh veggies salad-bar style. Each person got to customize their meal, and much to my surprise, my vegetarian (for 25+yrs) mother-in-law actually ate two servings of the shrimp! It was nice to have the whole meal done before our guests even arrived, and this made a delicious, flexible meal. Delightful!

  17. Jenna says

    Kimi – I know this is a little belated but for an effective, cheap & organic bug-away solution – mix water with a teaspoon of dish soap in a spray bottle and spray it onto your herbs & plants to kill bugs & keep them away! Sometimes when they flair up I have to apply it once a day for a couple days but the problem always subsides!

    Thanks for your great recipes!

  18. Kelsey says

    mm… just finished eating a plate of this. Delish! I didn’t have fresh basil unfortunately, so I put dried basil in the dressing. I’m sure fresh would’ve been much yummier, but it was still good! I also didn’t have french lentils, so I used brown, but I am going to try french ones next time. I think this would be delicious over rice.

  19. Elizabeth says

    We made this last week, and WOW! It was amazing! We LOVE it! I love finding simple recipes that will be filling and not make the kitchen too hot through the summer. Thanks!

  20. Natalya says

    We all love this lentil salad! I also add half a white sweet onion and lots of fresh chopped parsley, and instead of apple cider vinegar I use bottled lemon juice or pear-infused vinegar. Delicious, and very popular at picnics and bring-a-dish-to-share bbq’s.

  21. Ashley Fournier says

    I love this salad. My mom makes a similar one with grapes. I just added lemon zest and the juice. I didn’t have any basil on hand so I made it without and it was still awesome. I made it at 6am and I can’t stop sampling it so i don’t know if it will still be here for lunch! Thanks for the great post!

  22. says

    The salad looks amazing! I am so excited to start trying your recipes.

    Diatomaceous earth is excellent at getting rid of bugs. Just sprinkle some around the base of the plant. I use it everywhere! :).

  23. Melissa Bagwell says

    I am not seeing how much water to use when you cook the lentils after soaking them overnight. Any advice? First time cooking lentils. Thanks!

  24. Andrea says

    I made this using Whole Foods brand green lentils. I followed the recipe’s lentil cooking directions (but didn’t soak, as the package said it wasn’t needed), but think I should have followed the package cooking directions instead. First the lentils (just covered with water) absorbed it all and I had to add more midway through. Then they were a little too soft by 30 minutes. Overall due to the lentils the salad is very watery, has anyone else found that or is it just my own incompetence with all things culinary? πŸ™‚ I still think the taste is amazing, especially the dressing! I will be making the dressing again for all kinds of salads. I am eating it on a bunch of greens with pita chips on the side. I was hoping to serve it to vegetarian guests but I didn’t get it to come out good enough, so I’ll just enjoy the flavor even if it’s a big soggy. Thanks for the idea!

  25. Sarah says

    Andrea, I’m not an expert by any means, but I am pretty sure that when you soak beans (or anything) for that amount of time, the beans suck up a lot of water and get softish! That’s why when you cook them after soaking, they don’t take as much water and don’t need to cook as long. Technically, you could actually eat them after soaking- they are easy to chew! (Not that you’d want to, but I’m just sayin’! :))

  26. Ginger says

    I made this salad last night, and it was delicious! So filling. I ate it again today for lunch and am very satisfied. This will definitely be a staple in our home.

  27. Cathy says

    Just lovely, I didn’t have fresh lentils only the tin but it turned out lovely and I put carrots in as well, just softened in the microwave before putting in the lentil salad, and some fresh mint. (which I have growing)


    Thank you Kimi


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *