With spring officially here, it’s time to bring out the all-purpose salads that are perfect accompaniments to any brunch, shower, or potluck spread. AND, at the same time, they can double as a quick side dish for weeknight dinners or a quick, on-the-go lunch. All-purpose…it’s not just for flour!
The sign of a good salad in our house? We skip the plate altogether and with a fork in hand, go right for the Tupperware container in the fridge. Normally, this style of eating might get you in trouble, but luckily for us, this salad is full of healthy ingredients!
This Balsamic Lentil Salad is the ultimate all-purpose spring salad because it’s all about that fresh crunch from the chopped cucumber and sweet red bell pepper. Together with the lovely little beans we call lentils and the rich and tangy balsamic dressing, this salad is hearty, tangy, and light all at the same time.
The thought of a lentil salad might seem intimidating. But as mentioned before, lentils are just tiny beans that cook up like pasta. Plus, check out the simple ingredient list…cucumber, red pepper, onion, lentils, and dressing. Once the lentils are cooked, this salad comes together quickly. Even better, this one’s customizable. Keep the lentils as the base and add your favorite chopped, raw veggies. Carrots, celery, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli…so many options! And one thing I might add next time around? Feta cheese. Or Parmesan cheese. Or gorgonzola. Goat cheese, maybe? You get the picture.
Let this easy Balsamic Lentil Salad be your go-to dish for spring! Need a dinner idea for this week? Try the salad alongside this Roasted Salmon with Tomato Basil Relish.
- 3 ½ cups cooked lentils
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 cucumber, diced
- ¼ red onion or shallot, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh chopped parsley
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ clove garlic, chopped
- Dash of salt and pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the lentils, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, and parsley.
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Alternatively, you can whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Nutrition Information (per serving) from Caloriecount.about.com
Calories: 124 Fat: 1.3g Carb: 20.6g Fiber: 7.5g Protein: 8.3g Sugar 3.7g Sodium: 217mg