Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quinoa-Lentil Salad with Fresh Vegetables

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I love my whole-grain salads: Moroccan quinoa salad; quinoa, fruit, and nut salad; farro-chickpea salad; quinoa salad with apple, fennel, dried cherries, and goat cheese; and BLT salad with quinoa.  This quinoa-lentil salad fits right in with this bunch (are you sensing a quinoa theme?!), making a perfect light lunch or hearty side dish.  The quinoa and lentils make this a protein-rich vegetarian dish.  I also love all the crunchy veggies and fruit: sweet bell pepper, shredded carrots, and tart green apples.  Toasted pine nuts add a delicious nutty flavor, and goat cheese contributes a creamy texture scattered throughout the salad. I really liked serving this dish alongside leftover potato salad to add even more creaminess.  Like most whole grain salads, it keeps well in the fridge and so it's a great make-ahead, healthy lunch.

Quinoa-Lentil Salad with Fresh Vegetables (adapted from Fine Cooking)
Serves 6-8

1/2 cup French green lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 cups quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup plus 1 T olive oil, divided
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup diced green apple
1/4 cup minced chives
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 ounces goat cheese

1. Bring two pots of water to a boil.  In one, cook the lentils until tender (can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how old they are).  In the other pot, cook the quinoa along with a healthy pinch of salt, until tender, 15-20 minutes.  Drain the lentils and quinoa together and rinse with cold water.  Toss with 1 T olive oil and set aside to cool.
2. Whisk together the remaining olive oil, vinegar, and mustard.  Season with salt and pepper.
3. In a large bowl, toss together the peppers, carrots, apple, and chives.  Toss in the quinoa and lentils.  Add about 1/2 cup of the dressing, and toss to combine.  Fold in the pine nuts and goat cheese.  Taste, and add more vinaigrette, salt, and/or pepper as needed. Keeps well in the fridge (save any extra vinaigrette to drizzle on top of leftover portions or to use on a green salad).

I'm sending this recipe off to Kitchen Bootcamp: Salads!


  1. It's been awhile since I've had quinoa. Thanks for the tasty reminder!

  2. I like quinoa, but for some reason it doesn't make it on my grocery list too often! That looks delicious Sara! :D

  3. I made this yesterday. It might be my new "favorite dish." I realized we were out of pine nuts so I substituted Marcona almonds, and flavor was great. I'll try it with the pine nuts next time. Thanks for a great recipe!