Black Lentil Salad with Celery, Walnuts, and Parmesan is the perfect entree salad to make on a busy weeknight – it’s quick and easy, delicious, and healthy!
Do you do much cooking with legumes? I have been using them a lot lately.
While I definitely did not grow up loving beans and lentils of any sort, I grew into them. And, lucky for me, my kids have both always loved them, and they’re one of the few foods that are high in fiber or protein that my daughter will eat enthusiastically. So I cook them often.
Sometimes they come from a can. Because honestly, I usually either forget to soak them, or don’t have time for the long simmer that most of them require.
But lentils are different – they don’t need to be soaked, and they take at most 20 minutes to cook them from dry.
Some lentils cook up soft and almost mushy, making them ideal for soups and curries, but black lentils stay firm. This makes them the ideal ingredient for salads. One of my favorite salads to make with them is Black Lentil Salad with Celery, Walnuts, and Parmesan.
This salad is very easy to make, and quick enough for any weeknight. The dressing and the veggies for the salad can easily be prepped in the time it takes to cook the lentils, then all it takes is a quick toss to get all of the ingredients to come together.
Having a hard time finding black lentils?
As far as I can tell, black lentils aren’t as common as other types of lentils. I often have a hard time finding them at many of the grocery stores I go to.
However, my local natural food co-op always has them in their bulk department. I’ve also found them on Amazon Prime Pantry, and since it’s the Whole Foods brand, I would assume you can buy it there too.
If you really can’t find them, try using green lentils in this salad instead, as they also stay quite firm after cooking (but don’t look quite as cool as the black ones).
Black Lentil Salad Nutrition Notes:
The above nutrition information uses 1 cup of spring mix per serving as a bed for the black lentil salad. Note that this salad is very high in fiber, while being fairly low in calories.
It’s also gluten free and vegetarian. Skip the cheese or use a vegan Parmesan alternative to make the salad vegan and dairy free.
Want more Black Lentil Recipes?
Black Lentil Salad with Celery, Walnuts, and Parmesan
- 1 cup dry black lentils, picked through and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 small (or 1/2 large) shallot, minced (about 2 Tablespoons)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and halved or quartered and thinly sliced
- leafy salad greens, optional
- 1/4 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
- Add the rinsed black lentils and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer until lentils are tender, about 15-20 minutes, checking the water level periodically. If the lentils become too dry, add more water (we want to cook them with a minimal amount of water to preserve their black color as much as possible). When lentils are tender, drain using a fine mesh strainer.
- Whisk together the shallot, lemon juice, mustard, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly.
- To the bowl with the salad dressing, add the cooked lentils, celery and carrot. Toss well. Serve the lentil salad over a bed of leafy greens, if desired, and top with walnuts, Parmesan, and parsley, if using.