Herby French Lentil Salad with Carrots, Goat Cheese, and Pistachios

published Aug 24, 2021
Herby French Lentil Salad with Carrots, Goat Cheese, and Pistachios

This satisfying lentil salad is the ultimate make-ahead option for lunch. Carrots and pistachios lend crunch and color, while crumbles of goat cheese provide creaminess with every bite.

Serves5

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 20 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
bowl of lentil salad
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

If you think lentil salads are boring, allow me to introduce you to this tangy, herb-packed iteration, full of creamy cheese crumbles, salty toasted nuts, and tender mixed greens. Trust me when I say it will be the best thing to happen to your lunch routine, delivering a boatload of fresh flavor with plenty of feel-good vibes, to boot. The best part? It can be meal prepped over the weekend and enjoyed throughout the week.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

The Secret to Lentil Salad That Tastes Great All Week Long

This lentil salads relies on big flavors and textures to ensure it’s a winning lunch. For starters, it calls for French green lentils, which are perfectly petite and hold their shape when cooked. Pair them with crunchy carrots and pistachios, creamy goat cheese, an abundance of fresh parsley and scallions, and a bracing Dijon vinaigrette, and you’ve got a wholesome salad that’s far from boring.

In order for each forkful to stay interesting all through the week, you’ll want to take a few precautions. The pistachios will soften if tossed into the salad on Sunday, so wait to add them until right before you dig into a serving. I also like to add an extra splash of red wine vinegar before I eat, which really brings this salad to life.

Herby French Lentil Salad with Carrots, Goat Cheese, and Pistachios

This satisfying lentil salad is the ultimate make-ahead option for lunch. Carrots and pistachios lend crunch and color, while crumbles of goat cheese provide creaminess with every bite.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Serves 5

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    dried French green lentils (le Puy)

  • 1

    bay leaf

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 7 tablespoons

    red wine vinegar, divided

  • 2 teaspoons

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 4

    medium carrots (about 8 ounces total)

  • 3

    medium scallions

  • 1/2 cup

    fresh parsley leaves

  • 4 ounces

    fresh goat cheese

  • 5 ounces

    mixed greens (about 5 packed cups)

  • 1/2 cup

    shelled, roasted, and lightly salted pistachios, divided

Instructions

Make the salad:

  1. Place 1 cup dried French green lentils in a fine-mesh strainer. Pick through the lentils, discarding any broken or discolored ones. Rinse under cool water until the water runs clear, about 10 seconds.

  2. Transfer the lentils to a small saucepan. Add 1 bay leaf and enough water to cover the lentils by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until just tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the red wine vinegar, and 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard together in a large bowl.

  3. When the lentils are ready, drain and discard the bay leaf. Add the warm lentils to the dressing. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and toss well to coat. Let marinate and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and dice 4 medium carrots (about 2 cups). Thinly slice 3 medium scallions (about 1/3 cup). Coarsely chop 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves.

  4. Add the carrots, scallions, and parsley to the lentils and toss to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Crumble 4 ounces fresh goat cheese (about 1 cup).

Assemble or pack 5 salads:

  1. Pack 5 individual salads in 5 quart-sized or larger resealable containers. Divide the lentil mixture among the containers, then top each with 1 cup mixed greens. Sprinkle with the goat cheese. Refrigerate the salad and dressing until ready to eat, and pack 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons shelled, roasted, and lightly salted pistachios for each salad separately. (You can also eat immediately by assembling in individual bowls.)

  2. To serve, drizzle the red wine vinegar onto the salad and toss (or shake if there’s room in the container) to combine. Sprinkle the pistachios onto the salad.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The salad components can be refrigerated separately for up to 5 days.