Refreshing Lentil, Olive and Cucumber Salad

Lentils are part of the legume family and provide an excellent source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Additional benefits of lentils are abundant:  they are very filling, keep blood sugar levels from rising rapidly and contain heart healthy folate and magnesium, as well as a good source of B-vitamins.  One cup of cooked lentils pack a whopping 17 plus grams of protein!

Chilled Lentil Salad with Cucumbers and Olives

Recipe from the Kitchn:  Serves 6 to 8


2 cups French lentils
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves


1/2 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium cucumbers, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup pitted kalamata or black olives, roughly chopped
3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 cup ricotta or feta cheese or goat cheese

1.  Combine the lentils, garlic, and bay leaves in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the water and pull out the garlic and bay leaves. Refrigerate until cold.

2.  While the lentil are chilling, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, salt, and vinegar. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly until the dressing has emulsified.

3.  Combine the lentils, cucumbers, olives, and mint in a large bowl. Pour over the vinaigrette and toss to evenly coat. Dot with ricotta, crumbled feta, or goat cheese just before serving.

Note: If you are planning to eat the salad throughout the week, use only the amount of mint needed for each serving.  Add a few walnuts for more crunch if you enjoy nuts.

Time Saving Tips:

  • Buy lentils already cooked.  I found some at Trader Joe’s.
  • Use minced garlic instead of whole garlic.
  • Make the dressing ahead of time and double the recipe to use for other salads.