Like most people I talk to, I’ve been trying to work my way through my super-stocked pantry and freezer. Last week a couple days before I went shopping, I took a look around my kitchen for any items on hand that would make a decent lunch. I found a bag of Pardina lentils tucked away in the back of the pantry, and some kale and a couple green apples in the fridge. I also grabbed an onion from the pantry, and along with a flavorful dressing made from basic fridge staples, it was an easy, delicious meal.
If you’re not familiar with them, Pardina lentils are also called Spanish brown lentils, and they are a bit smaller than other green or brown lentils. They hold their shape well when cooked so they’re great for a salad, not to mention their lovely nutty flavor. Of course you could substitute another type of lentil if you want, but the flavor will change a bit; also, be sure you adjust the cooking time, since most varieties cook faster than the Pardina variety (even though Pardina lentils are smaller).
When I was conjuring up the idea for this salad in my mind, I initially thought I’d add crumbled Feta or shaved Parmesan on top. After one taste I knew this salad was perfect as-is, with its simple, bright flavors shining through and reflecting its perfectly green color. Of course a little cheese wouldn’t hurt at all, but if you decide to add a salty cheese, I’d cut back a little on the salt added to the dressing (maybe start with around 1/2 teaspoon).
- 1 cup (195 g) dry Pardina (Spanish brown) lentils
- 4 oz (115 g) kale, stems trimmed, thick inner ribs removed, and finely chopped (about 3 cups chopped small)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium-sized crisp, tart green apples (I used Granny Smith apples), washed, cored, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1½ teaspoons honey
- 1 medium clove raw garlic, grated
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Sort through the lentils to remove any small stones or pieces of dirt, and then rinse with cold water in a colander. Add the lentils to a medium saucepan and fill about ¾ full with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 25 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water as necessary. Strain the lentils, then rinse under cold running water, and cool completely.
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl, then toss in the lentils, kale, onion, and apple.
- Serve or store in the fridge for the next day.
Oh man. I love how decadent yet simple these are!
Nikki Lederer Loveless says
I make this salad all the time and just wanted to say everyone who tries it, LOVES it! Thanks so much for sharing.
Nikki Loveless says
This has consistently been on my go to list for the last year. Everyone loves it! Tonight I served with pork chops and I cannot imagine a better fall night meal. Plus the left over salad is just as delicious.
Brie is the perfect cheese for this salad!!!
Love this combo! Thanks for sharing at Saturday Dishes. Pinned!
I love this salad and I hope you dont mind that I have added it to the salad link up I am featuring this week. If you have other salads please feel free to add them, too. This one looks delicious. Pinned! -Savannah
Nutmeg Nanny says
This salad is so healthy and delicious looking! I really need to use lentils more…yum!
it’s nice to see lentils in something other than soup!
Beautiful salad Faith, love the green apples in it…so tasty and yet so healthy.
Enjoy your week :)
I just made lentil salad for exactly the same reason. I used pears and sherry vinegar but, yes, I love it. I had it with salmon but I love the vegetarian idea with kale. I’ll try it next time.
Although I cook lentils almost every week I have never tried to include them in a salad silly ha? I love the flavors you combined in there Faith, beautiful dish!
this is right up my alley, lovely!! pinned ;)
ashley - baker by nature says
You always make the prettiest salads, Faith!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Perfect use of on-hand ingredients! I’ve never tried Pardina lentils, I’ll have to look for them.
[email protected], pleasure, and health says
I love anything with lentils. Apple probably adds so much freshness to this salad. I need to do some pantry/fridge cleaning too
This salad sounds amazing! Such a perfect light meal. I have the impulse to make up a batch and eat it gradually for lunch all week. :)
Kelsey @aslolife says
My husband has been so over me making kale salads lately and basically ordered me to buy mixed greens this week instead, but maybe if I think outside the kale as just a lettuce substitute box, he’ll let me go back lol. Thanks for the inspiration!!
Healthy and scrumptious!
I love fruit in salads (I tell you this every time you use it ;)). Its just crunchy, sweet & delicious. I am sure I have some sort of leftover lentils in there!!