The summer is always a good time for eating salad. While this isn’t a completely cook-free salad recipe, the small amount of heat and time that it takes to sauté the vegetables helps meld the flavors together. Although, I bet this salad would be delicious with raw vegetables too. I love using legumes in salads since they add a lot of protein, are easy to use, and have a great creamy texture. I love the pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joes, they’re always perfectly cooked. However, you can definitely cook your own lentils, just make sure to use green or brown lentils.
I bought pomegranate molasses a while ago and it’s been sitting around waiting for me to get around to it. Pomegranate molasses is a reduction of pomegranate juice, make sure the kind you use doesn’t have added sugar. The molasses adds a thick, tangy umami flavor, but if you can’t find it you can just add the juice of another lemon and maybe a teaspoon of honey.
The flavors come together wonderfully for this salad, the dressing is tangy, the walnuts are crunchy, the parsley adds a burst of freshness, which elevates this lentil salad into something totally unique. This salad is great at room temperature or served cold as leftovers. You’ll want to wait to add the walnuts just before serving so that they remain crunchy.
Colorful Lentil Salad with Walnuts
Adapted from The Kitchn
- 1 pkg pre-cooked lentils (about 3 cups)
- 1/2 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 bell peppers, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1/4 cup parmesan, freshly grated
In a small bowl combine the chopped sun-dried tomatoes with very hot water until the tomatoes are just covered and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until just beginning to soften. Add the bell peppers and the garlic, and sauté until just softened. In a large bowl combine the lentils and the sautéed vegetables. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, reserving the water for the dressing. Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the salad.
In a measuring cup whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, pomegranate molasses, half the liquid from the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Pour half the dressing over the salad and mix in the parsley. When ready to serve top with the toasted walnuts and freshly grated parmesan.