I chose this salad because it is so nourishing and satisfying and fills you up with fiber and protein. If you use pre-cooked lentils (which are often sold in a vacuum packed package or in cans) it’s very quick to put together. I’ve gotten feedback from “meat and potatoes” people who have loved this combination.
This recipe seems to fit perfectly with the All Hands on Earth Picnic as it contains a variety of natural, seasonal, sustainable ingredients and has a meatless option. It is also delicious both hot and cold, so perfect for picnics!
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 pre-cooked sausage links, pork, chicken or meatless, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice only, about 2 Tbsp.
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (use wheat/gluten-free if needed)
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
2 1/2 cups cooked lentils (often sold in cans with beans or vacuum packed), or make your own
15 oz. canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped, or more to taste
In a microwave-safe bowl, steam the carrots in the microwave with 1 Tbsp. of water for 2 – 3 minutes until they are tender. If using the sausage, brown it in a nonstick skillet with 1 Tbsp. oil for 5 – 6 minutes.
Make the dressing in a measuring cup or medium bowl by whisking together the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard and tarragon. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients with the carrots and sausage (optional) and toss them with the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice the carrots, slice the sausage if using, make (and refrigerate) the dressing, or fully prepare (and refrigerate) the salad.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Season the salad with salt and pepper and add ½ tsp. lemon zest.
Tip: Dried lentils are convenient as they cook faster than other dried legumes. Before cooking the lentils, make sure you rinse them well and pick over them to remove any small rocks or debris. (Soak the lentils overnight, if possible, to cut the cooking time by about half.) To cook the lentils, in a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add 1 cup dried brown lentils to the boiling water, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer the lentils for 25-30 minutes until they are tender to the bite. Drain any remaining liquid.