RECIPE IDEA: Green Lentil Quinoa Salad
Hi. It’s Lois in the kitchen at Recipe Idea Shop, sharing a delicious side salad, Green Lentil Quinoa Salad. It’s flavored with lemon zest, bits of dates, and crunchy, toasted pine nuts. I started with one of my favorite cookbooks, Moosewood’s New Classics, looking for a good side dish for an evening meal. Moosewood always comes through with fabulous ideas.
The original recipe called for Israeli couscous, and I swapped it out for quinoa because I avoid wheat because I’m sensitive to gluten. I suspect I can eat the whole grain variety of wheat, but I have a heck of a time with breads, pastries and sauces made with wheat flour. I haven’t tried eating couscous or wheatberries recently. I think I’ll have to give them a try and see how I do.
A Meal-in-One or Side Salad
Anyway, I took the concept of green lentils, dates and a whole grain and made this absolutely wonderful salad that can be either a meal in itself or a side salad. The dressing is flavored with lemon and mint, and the dates add just the right sweetness to the Green Lentil Quinoa Salad, which is vegan and gluten free. You can serve it at room temperature, cold or hot. What a versatile side dish.
For lunch, I heated it up and topped it with two fried eggs. Wow! I love eggs on top of salads like this. So good!
Why Green Lentils?
I like using green lentils because they stay firmer than the brown, red or yellow lentils, which become kind of mushy when you cook them. Don’t get me wrong. I like the other lentils too. Dahl is super good.
You’re gonna wanna eat this.
BUT FIRST, DID YOU GRAB YOUR FREE COOKBOOK?
Green Lentil Quinoa Salad
Sweet, tangy and a bit minty, this Green Lentil Quinoa Salad can be a side salad or a main dish. Vegan and gluten free goodness.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup green lentils (dry)
- 10 dates (pitted)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried mint (more if you like)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or juice from 1/2 a lemon)
- zest of one lemon
- salt and pepper (as desired)
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Put the lentils in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water. Cover the pan and set the temperature on the stove to high.
Bring the water to a boil and immediately turn it down to medium. Continue to cook for about 20-25 minutes until the lentils are crisp tender.
Drain the lentils and rinse them with cold water. Set aside to cool.
While you are cooking the lentils, put the quinoa in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water. Cover the pan and set the temperature on the stove to high.
Bring the water to a boil and immediately turn it down to low. Continue cooking about 10-12 minutes until the water is fully absorbed and the quinoa becomes fluffy. Set aside to cool.
Chop and Mix
Chop the dates into tiny pieces and put them in a medium bowl.
After cooling a bit, add the lentils and quinoa to the bowl.
Zest the lemon and add it to the bowl.
In a small bowl or cup, add the cinnamon, mint, oil, and lemon juice and whisk to emulsify. Dump the mixture over the lentil/quinoa mixture and stir to combine.
Let stand 30 minutes before serving. It will enhance the flavors. Serve at room temperature, hot or cold.
Top with toasted pinenuts when serving.
This recipe was inspired by a Moosewood recipe.
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