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Spring Lentil Salad

I’m drawn to the stunning greenness of the salad!

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Light, flavorful, and hearty, this spring lentil salad is one that I have on a regular rotation. The lentils are what make this so hearty, so much so that it stands alone as a satisfying lunch or light supper. This salad gets its heartiness from the lentils and asparagus, two ingredients that help me feel like I’m eating a meal and not “just a salad.” Let me show you how it’s done!

Salads are trending these days. Gone are the days of bland, tasteless lettuce and a oily dressing. Nope, these days, folks want flavor and to feel as though the salad is worth eating. Cue this salad. Its visually beautiful to look at and its got Flavor (yes, with a capital F!).

Two big ingredients, asparagus and lentils, really pump up this salad. Spring means asparagus, so it’s only natural that it finds a home here in this spring lentil salad. Asparagus is a hearty veggie so its a great one for grilling. It softens a bit without losing its texture while gaining that distinct char that comes from the grill. Lentils bring a pasta-like texture to the salad. They’re cooked al dente for a little bit of a textural bite, and they’re a great source of protein.

And the mint! I’m telling you, it’s a real treat here, so fresh and vibrant. It works well with the crumbled hunks of feta cheese. I love that creamy-tangy-saltiness of feta. As much as I love the salad, it’s probably the dressing that I could drink on its own! Nothing fancy, just olive oil and lemon juice that get to play with cumin seeds, garlic cloves, and green onions. It’s a crispy-zingy salad dressing that I use often, but I especially love it here on this combination of asparagus, lentils, mint, and arugula.

I’m drawn to the stunning greenness of the salad. It looks good enough to eat! And it pairs wonderfully with Creamy Dill Red Potato Salad, Buffalo Cauliflower Wings and Zesty Blue Cheese, BBQ King Oyster Mushrooms, and Cardamom Carrot Cake.

Yield(s): Serves 6-8

15m prep time

25m cook time

When you share or print a 12 Tomatoes recipe,
you're making mealtime meaningful.
100% of the Share to Care sponsor fees fund meals for families in need. Learn More
  • 1 cup black lentils, rinsed
  • 2 leeks, dark green tops trimmed and split down the middle; cleaned and sliced into 1" pieces
  • 3/4 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup vegan feta crumbles
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped and small leaves reserved
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
  • 2 cups baby arugula
For vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  1. Boil lentils in 3 cups of salted water with a bay leaf for 15 - 20 minutes until soft and slightly firm.
  2. Drain lentils and place in a sheet tray evenly to cool.
  3. Toss asparagus and leeks with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill vegetables over high heat to get the best char on the outside. Remove from the grill when cooked and cut into bite-bit size pieces.
  5. In a small saucepan over low heat, add olive oil, green onion, cumin seeds, and garlic to the pan until the spices smell fragrant.
  6. Remove from heat, then mix in lemon zest and lemon juice.
  7. Toss vinaigrette with cooked lentils, grilled vegetables, peas, baby arugula, fresh herbs, and feta. Enjoy!