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FRENCH LENTIL & BITTER GREENS SALAD

French Lentil & Bitter Greens Salad is full of fresh leafy greens, protein rich lentils, tomatoes, green onion and delicious lemon-dijon balsamic vinaigrette for a light lunch, dinner or meal prep idea!

top down view of french lentil and bitter greens salad in a bowl.

Another salad is born, and this French Lentil Salad with bitter greens is another healthy salad for the vegan recipe collection!

It is no secret that salads have been on my mind lately. The weather is warming up here in So Cal and I instinctively start craving them. And so it is, another salad that I have been loving lately I have to share with you today.

If you’re anything like me, you can find a salad and stick with it for month’s on end. This is one of those simple salads that falls into that category for me.

The lentils can be served warm or chilled, making it a nice versatile salad for the cooler season as well. For me these are great qualities that I can stand behind day after day.

top down view of a bowl of dried french lentils.

French Lentils

The first time I had french lentils was from Trader Joe’s. They sell a steamed package that is fantastic! I’ve used them for tacos, eaten them plain, either cold or warmed, and now in salads. If you have access to these Trader Joe’s lentils by all means feel free to use them in this recipe in place of making them from scratch.

I finally got my hands on some dried french green lentils from Bob’s Red Mill (affiliate link) and love them as well. As you can see them dry in the picture above, they are so beautiful with their marbled and speckled surface. They have a nice flavor and pair wonderfully in this salad with the bitter greens while adding a nice heartiness.

I like to use about 1 cup cooked lentils for my salad but feel free to adjust up or down to suit your needs. Anything smaller than a cup for me and I’m hungry an hour after. I like my salads to be on the big side. You will have left over lentils for another salad or usage of choice.

top down view of ingredients used to make french lentil and bitter greens salad.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe, french lentils are topped on a bed of bitter greens and dressed with a lemon-dijon dressing for a quick and easy vegan lunch or dinner that’s healthy and delicious.

Here is everything you will need:

  • French lentils – beluga or puy (cook your own or use prepared)
  • Bay leafs
  • Garlic powder
  • Bitter greens – arugula, belgian endive, watercress, spinach, lacinato kale, escarole, dandelion to name a few)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Scallions – can sub with sliced shallots
  • Olive oil – can sub with water to make oil-free
  • Balsamic vinegar – white or dark (I used white)
  • Dijon mustard – whole grain is great too
  • Lemon
  • Salt + pepper

side by side photos showing finished dressing and cooked french lentils.

How To Make Bitter Greens Salad with French Lentils

  • Lentils: Cook the lentils with bay leafs and garlic powder, and simmer for 20 minutes. Lentils will be cooked until tender, but still holding their shape. Let cool and drain before using.
  • Dressing: While lentils are cooking start your vinaigrette. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and set aside.
  • Produce: Next, prepare your greens and remaining salad ingredients using as much or little as you like.
  • Assemble: Prepare your salad by laying your greens first, then add 2/3 – 3/4 cup or so of lentils and toss gently. Top with tomatoes, scallions and a good sprinkling of mineral salt and fresh cracked pepper. Or simply lay your greens and top with lentils and remaining salad ingredients without tossing at all if you rather. No rules here, do what feels best for you!

side angle view of french lentil and bitter greens salad in a bowl.

How To Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, in a covered container.
  • Meal prep: For meal prep, these multi-use glass containers (affiliate link) work great!

Serving Suggestions

This bitter greens salad is great alone, served warm or chilled, but can be made into an even heartier meal with any of these delicious options:

top down view of french lentil and bitter greens salad in a bowl.

More Easy Lentil Recipes

If you try this lentil & bitter greens salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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FRENCH LENTIL & BITTER GREENS SALAD

French Lentil & Bitter Greens Salad is full of fresh leafy greens, protein rich lentils, tomatoes, green onion and delicious lemon-dijon balsamic vinaigrette for a light lunch, dinner or meal prep idea!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 - 4 1x
  • Category: Salad, Entree
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup french lentils (beluga or puy), rinsed and picked over
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 3 cups water (or vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 oz. bitter greens of choice (arugula, belgian endive, watercress, spinach, lacinato kale, escarole, dandelion to name a few)
  • grape tomatoes, halved
  • 12 scallions, sliced
  • mineral salt + pepper, to taste

Lemon Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette (serves one)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (1 Tbsp each oil & water)
  • 2 tablespoons white or dark balsamic vinegar (I used white)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard (whole grain is great too)
  • juice of one large lemon
  • mineral salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

Lentils: In a medium size pot, bring water, lentils, bay leafs and garlic powder to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. We want them tender but still holding their shape. Remove from heat, let cool a few minutes and drain.

Dressing: While lentils are cooking start your vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Set aside. 

Produce: Next, prepare your greens and remaining salad ingredients using as much or little as you like.

Serve: Prepare your salad by laying your greens first, then add 2/3 – 3/4 cup or so of lentils and toss gently. Top with tomatoes, scallions and a good sprinkling of mineral salt and fresh cracked pepper. Or simply lay your greens and top with lentils and remaining salad ingredients without tossing at all if you rather. No rules here, do what feels best for you!

Store: Leftover lentils can be stored in the refrigerator for another salad or usage of choice.

Notes

Lentils: I used these Bob’s Red Mill Petit French Lentils from Amazon (affiliate link). For convenience, precooked lentils are great too!

Dressing can easily be doubled.

Oil-free: Use 2 tablespoons water in place of oil to make this recipe oil-free.

Updated: French Lentil & Bitter Greens Salad was originally published in June 2013. It has been updated with new photos and helpful tips in February 2020.

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5 Comments

  1. I was doing a search for a great lentil recipe, and came across this! So beautiful, and a perfect mix of flavors… and yes, I'm listening to one of my all time favs- Lebanese Blonde while I'm reading this. I've never heard the French version- fantastic!

  2. Freda Love Smith says:

    This looks like the perfect supper for a hot summer night. I get that hungry an hour after thing when I make a meal of salad, and a nice big serving of lentils is a great solution! So many good bitter greens at the market right now, too. Thanks!

  3. The Vegan Cookie Fairy says:

    Keep those salad recipes coming, I need lots of inspiration when it comes to salads! I love me some lentils, so I think I'll go cook some now and make a salad for my lunch tomorrow :)

  4. Many people underestimate salads – I certainly do NOT! This is FAB! LOVE all the color!

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