Today I’m sharing a simple and delicious lentil salad. The recipe starts with a sliced onion marinated in a red wine vinegar and salad. Whole green lentils are then cooked until al dente and tossed with the marinated onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. The salad is finished with a flurry of fresh herbs, juicy ripe tomatoes and crumbles of salty feta. With each bite, you’ll get a little earthiness from the lentils balanced with freshness of the tomatoes and herbs. The feta and marinated onions add bold pops of flavor throughout.
I just love the texture of al dente green lentils. They’re soft, but have a slight chew to them, making each bite so satisfying. High in protein and fiber, whole green lentils are a nutrient rich pulse packed with minerals like potassium, iron and folate. They cook up in just 15 minutes, so they’re super easy to prepare as well. This Tomato and Lentil Salad would be a perfect summer lunch or an impressive side to bring or serve at a barbecue. Continue reading for the recipe!
You can make this salad partially in advance through Step 3 below. Be sure the lentils are warm when you toss them with the marinated onion, olive oil and garlic, so they can better absorb all of those flavors. The salad then needs to cool off before adding the herbs. This will ensure that the herbs remain fresh and vibrant.
When you’re ready to serve, mix in the herbs, then top with tomatoes and feta. If that salad has been in the fridge for a few days, definitely check for seasoning again. Flavors can dull in the fridge over time, so you may need to perk things up a bit with more salt, pepper and perhaps even a splash of vinegar.
Tomato and Lentil Salad with Feta Cheese and Herbs
- 1 torpedo onion, trimmed and thinly sliced (or use a small red onion or two shallots)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups whole green lentils
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives, plus more for sprinkling
- 3 tablespoons chopped dill, plus more for sprinkling
- 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces), cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
- 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
- Add onion in a medium bowl, and toss with vinegar and a pinch of kosher salt. Let sit while you prepare the lentils.
- Place lentils in a medium saucepan filled 2/3‘s with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the lentils are just tender (about 15 minutes). Start checking for doneness around 13 to 14 minutes, because if you overcook the lentils, they will turn to mush.
- Drain the lentils well, then toss with the marinated onion. Stir in olive oil and garlic, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let lentils cool completely.
- Add chopped herbs to the bowl along with half of the tomatoes and feta, tossing to combine. Pour salad onto a serving platter, then top with remaining tomatoes and feta. Finish with a sprinkling of herbs, flaky sea salt and ground black pepper.