This salad is every bit a staple in my house.  I make it weekly for my daughter and I and have it on hand for a spontaneous girls lunch.  It is fresh, flavorful and filling in equal measure.  This salad may be perfect.

The inspiration for this salad came from FoodNetwork.com.  The original version was smaller and suggested as a side.  My version is served over dressed arugula and shaved zucchini for a full on legume + seeds + greens celebration.

When I am not serving the salad as described, I add steamed haricot vert for extra crunch and green vegetable variety.  The haricot vert are cut into 1″ segments and lend stunning color.  The catch is that the salad should be eaten in one sitting — the haricot vert lose their vibrancy once refrigerated.

I hope you enjoy the salad and I would love to know how you personalize the recipe.

Lentil Quinoa Salad Over Greens

For salad:

  • 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cup lentils, rinsed and drained*
  • 3  1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 limes, zested + juice of 1 lime
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 generous handful fresh cilantro, chopped

To serve:

  • 2 zucchini, shaved
  • 7 ounces arugula
  • lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • olive oil
  • chopped green onion + cilantro to garnish

Note: This is a considerable batch of lentil salad.  Portion out the arugula and shaved zucchini only upon serving; do not refrigerate the greens with the salad.

Place quinoa and 2 cups water in medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Fluff with a spoon and let cool.

Place lentils in 3 cups water in medium saucepan (lentils will double or triple in size when cooked) and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until lentils are tender but not mushy.  For whole lentils allow 15-20 minutes.  Drain and let cool.

In a small bowl, whisk the mustard and vinegar together, and drizzle in the oil to make an emulsion. Add the garlic powder, lime zest, juice of 1 lime, salt, and pepper, to taste.

In a large bowl, combine the lentils, the quinoa, the green onions and the cilantro.  Top with the salad dressing and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*I regularly substitute a 17.6 ounce package of Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils in this recipe.  The lentils are prepared with salt and natural flavor (of unknown origin) and are ready to eat.  They are quite delicious and an excellent ingredient in this salad.

To serve, place a handful of arugula in the bottom of a shallow bowl and top with shaved zucchini strands.  Dress zucchini and arugula with drizzled olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Top greens with spoonfuls of lentil quinoa salad and garnish with additional cilantro sprigs and chopped scallions.  Indulge and enjoy!