This Lentil Niçoise Salad makes for an elegant brunch dish, or a fabulous dinner when your diet needs a healthy, flavorful punch.
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One of my favorite things to make for lunch is a salade composée, or mixed salad, from leftovers. After dinner or any larger meal, I will store even tiny portions of leftover meat or veggies because I know they’ll become part of an eventual, spur-of-the-moment lunch. When the inevitable daily question rolls over—what’s for lunch today?—I open the fridge and scavenge through the shelves to fix myself a plate. I try to balance things out. Some protein, grains, veggies, and nuts or seeds all get thrown over a well-dressed bed of salad greens. This actually makes a filling lunch that scores high on satisfaction levels by producing an appetizing plate full of textures, flavors, and colors while nixing unnecessary waste. It’s a win-win!
But I love mixed salads so much that once in a while, I will take some time to actually plan ahead and produce a thought-out dish. This gorgeous Lentil Niçoise Salad was born from my desire to eat lentils more often. Lentils can be such a lifesaver. As long as you have them in the pantry, you’re just a few minutes away from considerably improving the nutrition levels of any meal. If they’re dry, they don’t require pre-soaking so they take about 20 minutes to prepare. If they’re canned, they provide instant satisfaction. Plus, they’re extremely versatile. You can easily add them to soups, salads, curries, and breakfast dishes (lentils + fried eggs = match made in heaven!), and even desserts will benefit from their nutrition boost. Lentils are a fabulous source of fiber and proteins AND they’re low in fat. There’s just no excuse not to make a habit of stocking—and eating—lentils!
In this Lentil Niçoise Salad, I replaced tuna, which is the traditional protein served in the dish, with aromatic lentils. Although the salad does require prep for a few elements—the lentils, potatoes, green beans, and eggs all require boiling—I’ve perfected a way to multitask and pull it together so the salad comes together within 30 minutes. If you prefer, you can prepare all the elements in advance and assemble them right before serving.
This Lentil Niçoise Salad makes an elegant weekend breakfast or brunch dish or a fabulous dinner when your diet needs a healthy, flavorful punch.
Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.
It’s a fact: most Canadians are not eating the daily number of fruits and veggies recommended by Canada’s Food Guide. The goal of Half Your Plate is to provide an easy, visual guideline to help you improve your daily intake: simply fill half of each meal and snack with vegetables or fruits.
Lentils are a type of pulse crop, along with dry beans, dry peas, and chickpeas. To the contrary of other pulses though, lentils do not require presoaking: simply simmer them like you would rice and you’re minutes from boosting the nutrition levels of any meal.
Lentils and produce are a powerful combination. Cooking up meals that include both will improve your diet and save you money! For more information about Canadian Lentils and the Half Your Plate initiative, see the links below:
Disclosure Notice: I was offered monetary compensation to develop a delicious recipe using lentils and vegetables. As always, companies never dictate what recipes I create, or the opinions I express. I only use products I genuinely believe in.
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