Lentil Salad with Herbed Goat Cheese + Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Do you have a birthday buddy?

I do; actually, I have a few. (Give me a shout out if your birthday is also September 30th!)

But I was an adult when I first met I someone with the same birthday as mine. (Which is pretty sad, right? That would have been so much fun as a kid!)

Anyway, she and I worked together at the last job I had before I went blogging full-time. I’m not sure if it’s because we share a birthday or not, but we are definitely kindred souls.

For starters, we both adore good food, and our lunch breaks were frequently spent enjoying it.

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One day we were out to lunch and having the hardest time deciding what to order. A lentil salad caught both of our attention, and while she decided on a black bean and vegetable burrito, I ended up ordering the salad. One bite and I knew I had to recreate it at home.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know that I’m a fan of bean and lentil salads. (Like my Greek-Flavored Butter Bean Salad, Lemony Chickpea + Herb Wheat Berry Salad, Pardina Lentil, Green Apple + Kale Salad, and Strawberry Black Bean Salad, to name just a few.) This salad is a lovely addition to my collection of favorites.

Lentils and balsamic vinaigrette are a perfect pairing, and although that herbed goat cheese looks impressive, it couldn’t be easier to make. Why not enjoy a restaurant-quality meal from the comfort of your own home? Better yet, invite a few of your besties over to enjoy it with you.

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Lentil Salad with Herbed Goat Cheese + Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Lentil Salad with Herbed Goat Cheese + Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients

    Salad:
  • 2/3 cup (140 g) dried brown lentils (or 1 (15 oz/425 g) can no-salt-added brown lentils, rinsed and drained)
  • 4 cups (1 liter) water
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 6 oz/170 g (about 1 cup) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz/115 g (about 4 cups) baby spinach
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • Herbed Goat Cheese:
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 (4 oz/115 g) log goat cheese, sliced into 8 slices

Instructions

  1. Sort through the dried lentils to remove any small stones or pieces of dirt, and then rinse with cold water in a colander. Bring the rinsed lentils and the water up to a boil in a lidded medium saucepan. Cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally; strain. (Skip this step if you're using canned lentils.)
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together all ingredients for the Balsamic Vinaigrette; set aside.
  3. For the Herbed Goat Cheese, combine the parsley and chives in a small dish. Roll each slice of goat cheese in the herbs; set aside.
  4. Mix together the cooked or canned lentils, onion, tomato, parsley, salt, and Balsamic Vinaigrette.
  5. To serve, arrange the spinach on 4 plates. Mound the lentil salad on top of the spinach, and top each with 2 slices of goat cheese.
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Hello! I’m Faith and I write An Edible Mosaic. This is my recipe collection of international favorites and updated American classics, with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. I focus on real foods that sustain body and mind, bring people together, and make a house a home. Welcome to my mosaic of recipes.

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