Traditional recipes

Big Green Lentil Salad

Big Green Lentil Salad

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Cool yogurt, crunchy seeds, and avocado turn lentils into a lunch salad you’ll actually be excited to eat. Serve it with warm pita for swiping up the garlicky yogurt. We have Heidi Swanson, the vegetarian cookbook author and blogger behind 101 Cookbooks, to thank for this lightning-fast weeknight dinner recipe.


  • 1½ cups green lentils, rinsed
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 1⅓ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn if large

Recipe Preparation

  • Cook lentils in a large saucepan of simmering salted water until they are tender but still retain their shape, 20–30 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain well again.

  • Mix yogurt, garlic, turmeric, ¼ tsp. salt, and a generous grind of pepper in a small bowl to combine; set aside.

  • Toss lentils, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, 3 Tbsp. oil, and remaining ½ tsp. salt in a large bowl. Gently fold in avocado, arugula, and basil.

  • Spread reserved yogurt sauce across a platter and spoon lentil mixture on top; drizzle with oil.

Reviews SectionI wasn’t blown away by the original recipe on its own but it’s easy to modify, so use whatever you’ve got on hand!I omitted the avocado, subbed pepitas for sunflower seeds, and included sliced scallion in the salad mix. Also topped it with some ground pork for heft. It needs acid, so don’t omit the lemon (could also maybe sub vinegar here). I used nondairy Greek-style yogurt (Kite Hill) it worked like a charm. Looking forward to trying it with other folks’ recommended add-ins!AnonymousTennessee06/15/20Lazy girl adjustment: Swap the sauce the pre-bought hummus and only season with; salt, pepper, lemon juice. Still deliciousLoved it. Perfect for a hot summer day or nightlove a riffable recipe. I did one clove of garlic and a heap of chopped scallions for the yogurt. I just sprinkled some arugula on top of a swirl of yogurt, tossed some of the lentils on top of that, and instead of basil I topped with cilantro and more scallions. And then a fried egg on top! and a squeeze of lemon. I'm sure it would've been bomb with a bit of pita.seymourkittyPortland12/27/19It PAINS ME to leave a negative review but alas, this was so disappointing I must. The texture of this was about the only thing I enjoyed about this salad. The flavors just weren't jiving. I made this for lunch and ended up having to doctor it significantly in order to enjoy it. Someone else recommended roasted squash which helped jazz it up, along with Brianna's French Vinaigrette & some chicken breast. Another day I threw in leftover peppers & onions and Beyond sausage. I tossed the yogurt altogether. Overall, not my favorite even though this sounds like a total winner. It needs some love to get it to a great place! Sorry BA!!Amber AndersonBoston10/30/19I thought this was pretty good. It's not the typical fall-out-of-my-chair amazingness that I find in most other Bon Appetit recipes. I liked the crunch of the sunflower seeds and the turmeric in the yogurt. I didn't dare use raw garlic (you're welcome, co-workers). Instead I sauteed it in olive oil to soften the bite then used the oil in the lentil dressing. If I make it again, I might alter it to dial it up the flavor a bit.AnonymousLos Angeles10/07/19This was pretty good, not great enough to want to make it again though. I don’t know if my garlic cloves were particularly large or potent, but my garlic breath was REAL after eating the yogurt. Definitely recommend eating it all with some toasted pita or the texture might get too soft after a while.Pretty good, though I didn’t salt the water when I made the lentils 😑. Will be trying a little sesame oil and red chili flakes on top of the leftovers—it needs something.AnonymousLansing, Michigan09/30/19This recipe was an almost-miss. The avocado didn't work at all, but some roasted squash might have gone well with it. I gave the thinly sliced garlic a quick browning in a pan with some olive oil and that saved it for me.This was a big miss for me and I was pretty surprised because I love pretty much all of the ingredients. It just needed something more, but I couldn't figure out what.Anonymouschicago, il09/18/19Excellent! Liked that I could get it already in advance and then put it together later. Served it with whole grain seeded toast points. Be sure not to overlook lentils. Best when they have a little body to them.My daughter chose this for her birthday meal and we all loved it. Was it 1 1/2 cooked or dry lentils? I used 1 1/2 cups dry lentils and it seemed in the end that it was probably 1 1/2 cooked.wigmoredonnaCharlottetown, PEI08/31/19Made this and it was delicious! Used it as an appetizer with wheat naan bread for 4 people- a unique and healthy dish with great flavorAnonymousDeerwood Minnesota08/25/19Made this last night and it was surprisingly delicious! Was a little short on basil and just used what I had. Still turned out great. I may double the yogurt next time and let people build their own bowl.AnonymousTulsa, OK08/19/19

Watch the video: Lentil Salad With Roasted Vegetables. Melissa Clark Recipes. The New York Times (June 2022).


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