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: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
Salad:
  • ⅔ 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
  • ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz/115 g (about 4 cups) baby spinach
Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ 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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Comments

  1. says

    I don’t have any friends that are birthday twins right now :( When I was a freshman in college, I lived in a dorm with a girl who shared my birthday…but haven’t met any others since that time (at least that I know of). The salad looks great. the herbed goat cheese is a nice touch, and I love that its not fried goat cheese! YuM!

  2. says

    This salad looks marvelous…and I am one of your birthday buddies…I’m not at all surprised since I’ve loved every one of your dishes that I’ve tried!

  3. says

    Oh Faith I think of you often,as we simply put, think alike…I made fresh steamed asparagus the other night, I cut the stems I kept them,(thought of you)I had a memory of a recipe that I had stumbled upon re: fat free pasta sauce using stems; a bit of pasta water;finished the tops, threw the chopped bottoms in steam water,added herbs & spices, kept adding water until they were mush, puree
    the stems & tossed it w/veg penne & added tops! OMG, glad I never throw out anything. Last night, was roasted veg, so yummy…I love this lentil recipe & you baby girl! Just polished off a pot of them, they talk about meatless Monday…for me it’s like what day will I eat meat? But I eat MEAT…it’s just not a goal, my thing is healthy well rounded meals. You rock girl, Andrea

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