Mealtime Lentil Salad

Quick-cooking, nutritious lentils form the base of this salad, and pickled shallots and a flavour-packed peanut dressing bring it all together. Serve either warm or at room temperature. Perfect for lunch the following day too.

  • Prep time: 30 minutes  
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Makes: 4 servings


1 cup (250 mL) dried green lentils

Quick pickled shallots

1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup (60 mL) each white vinegar and water
1½ tsp (7 mL) granulated sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt


¼ cup (60 mL) lemon juice
3 tbsp (45 mL) peanut butter
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seed
¼ tsp (1 mL) each cinnamon and cayenne pepper
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¼ cup (60 mL) oil, preferably peanut or canola


4 cups (1 L) baby arugula or spinach leaves, or a combination
1 red, yellow or orange pepper, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup (250 mL) colourful cherry tomatoes, halved


Rinse lentils and discard any shrivelled ones. Place in pot and cover with about 4 cups (1 L) water. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook about 15 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Drain well.

Quick pickled shallots
Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring vinegar, water, sugar and ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt to a boil. Place sliced shallot in a small bowl. Once vinegar mixture boils, pour over shallots and stir. Let stand at room temperature while making salad and dressing.

Whisk lemon juice with peanut butter, ginger, garlic, spices and salt until smooth. Gradually whisk in oil to form a dressing. Drain shallots.

In a salad bowl, place lentils, arugula or spinach, pepper, zucchini, tomatoes and pickled shallots. Gently toss with as much dressing as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with peanuts.


Per serving: 450 calories, 25 g fat (4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 720 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrate, 15 g fibre, 8 g sugars, 19 g protein