This lentil salad may look simple but it’s got great flavor, and it’s a perfect way to use in-season Spring veggies like asparagus and leeks.
- 1 cup French green lentils, rinsed and checked for rocks (see Notes)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 lb asparagus
- 4 cloves garlic, skins removed
- 1.5 lbs fingerling potatoes
- salt & pepper to taste
- ~ ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1 leek, white part thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- zest & juice of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 cloves roasted garlic from above ingredients
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- In a medium pot on the stove, add 3 cups water, lentils, and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil. Cover and let simmer on low heat for 15–20 minutes or until soft. Drain off excess water.
- Meanwhile, prepare asparagus and potatoes. Cut about 2 inches of the woody ends of the asparagus off & discard, then chop into 1½-inch pieces and add to a baking sheet along with garlic. Chop potatoes into 1-inch pieces and add to another baking sheet. Spray or toss both asparagus & potatoes with about a tablespoon of high heat oil (like avocado) and generously sprinkle with salt, pepper, & red pepper flakes.
- Roast asparagus & potatoes in the oven, tossing every 10 minutes. Take the asparagus out after 20 minutes. Take the potatoes out after 40 minutes.
- Make the dressing: remove garlic from the asparagus baking sheet and mash, then add to a small bowl or jar along with lemon juice & zest, mustard, and apple cider vinegar. Shake it up or mix vigorously.
- Combine lentils, asparagus, potatoes, dressing, and thinly sliced leeks to a large bowl or Tupperware and mix until combined. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!
- This salad is better the second day and beyond. The first day, the flavors might be a bit strong and acidic, but with a little time they develop and mellow out. If you’d like to eat the salad right away but find it too strong, I suggest adding a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
- French green lentils are the type of lentil I recommend for this recipe. They hold their shape better than brown or red lentils, which can become mushy with cooking. French green lentils can be found in the bulk section at most co-ops and Whole Foods. If you can only find brown or red lentils, it won’t ruin the salad. It’ll just have a different texture.
Keywords: lentils, vegan, healthy, asparagus, spring, leeks, potatoes, lemon, dressing, dairy free, gluten free