This Zesty Lentil Spinach Salad is made with garlicky sauteed veggies, hearty lentils, fresh spinach, and some tangy lemon juice. It’s delicious when served warm, and also makes great leftovers after being chilled.
- 1 cup uncooked black (beluga) lentils or green (French) lentils
- 2.5 cups vegetable or chicken stock (see below for tips on extra-delicious lentils)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces baby bella or white button mushrooms, sliced
- 2–3 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 1 small head of broccoli)
- half a medium red onion, peeled and thinly-sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 4 cups loosely-packed baby spinach, roughly-chopped
- juice and zest of one lemon, added to taste (about 3-4 tablespoons juice)
- 1/2 cup feta cheese (or goat cheese) crumbles
- Rinse the lentils with water in a fine-mesh strainer, picking out and discarding any little stones that may have snuck in there. Transfer the lentils to a medium saucepan, and stir in the stock. Cook over medium-high heat, until the mixture reaches a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender. Drain, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, as the lentils are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and broccoli and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 additional tablespoon olive oil, red onions and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Continue sautéing for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and the veggies are cooked to your desired level of tenderness. (I liked keeping the broccoli and onions slightly crisp, and not completely soft.) Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked (and drained) lentils, veggie mixture, spinach, lemon juice and zest, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and feta cheese. Toss to combine.
- Serve warm, garnished with extra feta cheese, if desired.
For extra delicious lentils, I recommend also adding in a generous pinch of salt and pepper, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch of garlic powder when you add in the vegetable stock.