The first time I traveled to Paris with my family, we visited a restaurant called Chez Georges. It was there that I was introduced to the idea of a French lentil salad.
French Lentil Salad
Before that trip, I had never had lentils as a salad before. My mom often made a lentil rice mix growing up, so I knew I enjoyed lentils and was eager to give a salad version a try.
The salad didn’t disappoint. It was a simple enough salad consisting solely of warm lentils and what can only be described as a light, mustard dressing.
The lentil salad is a house specialty of the restaurant, and it left me wondering how lentils could taste so good?
Turning the Salad into Lunch
At the restaurant, the salad is served as an appetizer. To make this French lentil salad an entrée, I added a couple of extra ingredients, plus a soft-boiled egg.
If you’ve never had a soft-boiled egg, it’s basically just a boiled egg that’s slightly underdone. The center should be somewhat set, yet runny at the same time.
My go-to method of getting a soft-boiled egg is to boil it for 6 minutes. The clock starts even before the water in the pot has begun to boil.
Asparagus and More
You can cook the lentils yourself, or you can purchase pre-cooked lentils (think Trader Joe’s steamed lentils).
This time of the year, I like to add chopped asparagus into my French lentil salad. In the fall, something like butternut squash is suitable.
I simply toss the chopped asparagus into the egg’s pot of boiling water for a minute or less, just to flash cook them before mixing them into the salad.
Some other favorite additions to this French lentil salad are sliced radishes and parmesan shavings.
The dressing for this salad couldn’t be easier. I simply do a 2:1 ratio of olive oil and lemon with a dash of dijon mustard. A little salt and pepper are added at the end to season the dish.
The dressing is really light and all this French lentil salad really needs since each component has its own great flavor.
- 3/4 cup cooked lentils, (170 grams) see note
- 1 egg
- 4 stalks asparagus, woodsy ends removed and cut into 1" long pieces
- 1 radish, thinly sliced
- parmesan shavings
- 1 tbsp olive oil, (15 ml)
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, (7.5 ml)
- 1/4 tsp dijon mustard, (1 gram)
- Fill a small pot with enough water to cover your egg. Add a generous pinch of salt to the water, and the egg. Place the pot over high heat, and start the timer for 6 minutes. Once the water is boiling, turn down the heat slightly just so that the water doesn't overflow, but don't let the water stop boiling.
- In the last minute of the egg cooking, drop in the chopped asparagus and let them cook until they're bright green and the timer is up. Remove the asparagus and the egg.
- In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, and dijon together. Plate the lentils and drizzle the dressing over the lentils. Top with the cook asparagus, sliced radish, the egg, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Garnish with parmesan shavings.
If you're cooking your own lentils, you'll want to start out with a scant 1/2 cup of dry lentils. Soak the lentils in water for 1 hour before using. Drain the lentils then add them to a medium pot. Pour 3/4 cup of water over the lentils, add 1/2 tsp of salt, then turn on the heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid, then let the lentils cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 469