The French green lentil is an exquisite, marbled beauty. Upon closer inspection, individual lentils are shades of olive green and black with hints of fiery red. You might say they almost resemble tiny red-slider turtles. In this tangy lentil salad from Oh She Glows, the lentils provide a hearty, protein-packed base. The slightly peppery and earthy taste of the French lentils compliments the roasted asparagus and potatoes.
While the common variety will suffice, the lentille du Puy has a firmer texture that won’t get overly mushy in lentil salads like this one. French lentils are also a better source of key nutrients. They have 24% more potassium, 25% more iron, 60% more fiber, and 20% more protein per serving than the common green lentil.[1, 2] French lentils even cook nearly twice as fast as other lentils.
You might have luck finding these elusive legumes in the bulk section at your local organic grocer. While you’re there, don’t forget to pick up mustard seeds for the dressing. They add a lively, coarse texture to this rich lentil salad.
Any variety of yellow potatoes will suffice, but I recommend organic Yukon Gold for their versatility. When choosing your asparagus, find a verdant bunch with firm spears and try to use your asparagus soon. If you’re going to store the asparagus for a few days (no more than seven), they should be placed upright in a glass in about an inch of water and covered with a plastic produce bag. Change the water daily or they’ll get slimy.
Health Benefits of Mustard Seeds
Throughout history, mustard seeds have been prized as both a spice and therapeutic food. Since ancient times, they were used to remedy muscle and arthritic pain. Today, in Turkey, mustard seeds are still used to make a plaster thought to help alleviate rheumatism, chest congestion, back pain, and sore muscles.
A surprisingly rich source of selenium, just one tablespoon provides 21% of your recommended daily allowance. They are also a great source of omega-3s, iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, B3, and glucosinolates. Isothiocyanates are derived from glucosinolates and have been extensively investigated for their ability to promote good health.[5, 6, 7] Additionally, isothiocyanates, and some glucosinolates, are believed to provide a level of defense against some carcinogens.[7, 8]
Lentil Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus
- Prep time: 25 minutes
- Cook time: 30 minutes
- Total time: 55 minutes
- Serves: 4
- Mesh sieve
- 2 large baking sheets
- Medium pot
- Large mixing bowl
- Whisk for dressing
- 1 cup uncooked organic French green lentils/du Puy lentils (forms 2 1/2 cups cooked)
- 3 medium organic yellow potatoes, diced (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 1 bunch of organic asparagus, cut ends removed and chopped
- 1/2 medium organic red onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Handful minced fresh dill, or your favorite herb to garnish (optional)
Dressing (Makes 2/3 Cup)
- 2 tablespoons organic, coarse seeded/old fashioned mustard
- 2 tablespoons organic dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
- 3 ½ tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice
- Himalayan pink salt or sea salt to taste
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper (not wax paper, which burns).
- Rinse lentils in a fine mesh sieve.
- Pour 3 cups of water into your pot and set to heat high. Add lentils and bring water to a rolling boil.
- Once boiling, lower heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
- Strain lentils in rinsed sieve. Season with Himalayan pink salt.
- Toss potatoes with a ½ tablespoon of oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Make sure to coat evenly.
- Spread potatoes on first parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Like with the potatoes, toss cut asparagus with a ½ tablespoon of oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Make sure to coat evenly.
- Spread the asparagus evenly on the second baking sheet.
- After the potatoes have finished their first 15 minutes, turn the potatoes over with a spatula. Return to the oven with the asparagus for an additional 12-15 minutes. The potatoes should be crispy and the asparagus should be bright green and tender.
- Put roasted vegetables and lentils into a clean mixing bowl. Fold in lentils to combine.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together. If you prefer a less tart dressing, halve the lemon juice. Alternatively, add a touch more olive oil or even try maple syrup to suit your taste.
- Pour half the dressing onto the lentil salad and gently stir until well combined.
- Serve your salad hot and garnish with a herb of your choice (optional), enjoy!
With a low glycemic index, this nutritious lentil salad recipe is an ideal meal for promoting sustained energy. Store portions in lidded glass containers to enjoy for tomorrow’s lunch or as a filling snack. Bon appétit!
Have you tried this recipe? Do you have a different way to enjoy lentils? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!
- “Calories in Harris Teeter – French green lentils.” Calorie Count, 2016. Web. 5 Aug. 2016.
- “Calories in Arrowhead mills – Green lentils.” Calorie Count, 2016. Web. 5 Aug. 2016.
- Sarwar, Farhan. “The Role of Oilseeds Nutrition in Human Health: A Critical Review.” Journal of Cereals & Oilseeds 4.8 (2013): 97–100. Web. 5 Aug. 2016.
- Encyclopedia of Food and Health. Encyclopedia of Food and Health. N.p.: Academic Press, 2015. Ebook. Web. 5 Aug. 2016.
- “Spices, mustard seed, yellow nutrition facts & calories.” 2014. Nutrition Facts. 5 Aug. 2016.
- Halim, Gloria, and Samantha Russo. Healing Foods, Healthy Foods: Use Superfoods to Help Fight Disease and Maintain a Healthy Body. N.p.: Little, Brown Book Group, 2011. Ebook. 5 Aug. 2016.
- Talalay, Paul, and Jed W Fahey. “Phytochemicals from Cruciferous Plants Protect Against Cancer by Modulating Carcinogen Metabolism.” The Journal of Nutrition 131.11 (2001): 3027–3033. Web. 5 Aug. 2016.
- Wallig, Matthew A, et al. “Synergy Among Phytochemicals Within Crucifers: Does It Translate into Chemoprotection?” The Journal of Nutrition 135.12 (2005): 2972–2977. Web. 5 Aug. 2016.