Cherry Lentil Salad with Basil.


Another day, another Whole Foods recipe.

My last recipe expanded my culinary experience with watercress (which I had never tried before) and the new-to-me combination of mint and strawberry (in love!). Today’s recipe introduced me to green lentils. It also introduced me to a version of myself that is willing to shell out $5 for a pound of cherries… My mostly frugal nature does not spend more than a couple of dollars a pound on fruit. I digress.

Never having cooked lentils before, I was surprised to find that boiling them emitted an unpleasant smell unto my kitchen. A bit like… dirt, perhaps? This may have been due to the fact that I skipped the advising of both my recipe and the back of the box to rinse them thoroughly before cooking, however. Oops. I rinsed them after they were done cooking since they were going to be a part of a cold salad. Does that count for something?

Anyways, once everything was together, I was mostly satisfied with the result. I believe the recipe was a little heavy on the salt, so if I were to make it again I would probably halve the amount and then add more as needed.

And as for lentils… after the initial shock of a new taste in my mouth, I have decided that I like them. They are chewy (as I cooked them, at least) and filling and rather bean-like.

I would certainly prescribe this salad to anyone who: a) wants to celebrate the just-arrived cherry season, b) is feeling adventurous and spicy and wants their food to act as such, or c) who enjoys wholesome, filling, nutritious eats like me!

Cherry Lentil Salad
courtesy of Whole Foods Market

  • 3/4 cup dried green (French) lentils, rinsed (!)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar, more to taste
  • 2 T. orange juice
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, more to taste (these are my changes)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  1. Combine lentils and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, partially covered and just until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine vinegar, orange juice, green onions, salt, and pepper. Add warm lentils and toss until coated. Let cool to room temperature, refrigerate if not serving immediately (which was how we ate it). Toss with the cherries and basil just before serving. Add more salt and vinegar to taste if desired!

3 thoughts on “Cherry Lentil Salad with Basil.

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