This beluga lentil salad is beyond delicious. It features black beluga lentils, which is my favorite lentils for salads. Their earthy flavour is perfectly harmonised by a bold lemon and fresh mint dressing. The flavors of lemon accompanied by “al dente” green beans and the delicate saltiness of crisped prosciutto are an absolute treat, one not to be missed. Plus you can prepare all of the ingredients while the lentils cook. Bonus is, this salad can easily made without the prosciutto to satisfy any vegetarian or vegan.
Beluga lentils resemble caviar, hence the name. Not only do they make for a beautiful garnish, they are absolutely splendid to eat, especially in a salad. I like them because they cook in about 25 minutes and retain their shape nicely. Another great lentil for salads is French green puy lentils. Also easy to cook with a good texture. You’ll find I also use them often in salads. Both types of lentils are versatile and loaded with protein, fiber, iron, and more goodness.
Yes, I absoluuutely love this beluga lentil salad….we eat it LOADS during green bean season. And don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy it with a glass of your favorite red wine. The lemony taste of the salad brings out the sweetness in the wine….mmmm, yummy. And did I mention that this is also a great way to get teenagers on board with eating lentils? Tried it and it works.
I highly recommend trying this recipe as it is. It truly is a long time go-to recipe of mine. But of course, if you are a strict vegetarian rather than a flexitarian like me, then you’ll need to make some changes. And if vegan, of course that goes without saying.
My suggestion for skipping the prosciutto would be to try adding thinly sliced and seared shiitake mushrooms for an umami boost. Toasted nuts like slivered almonds or pine nuts would also be a great choice. This would make the salad vegan. Vegetarians have the option of adding a little grilled halloumi.
Beluga Lentil Salad with Green Beans & Lemon-Mint Dressing
Beluga lentils and the flavors of lemon accompanied by "al dente" green beans and the delicate saltiness of prosciutto are an absolute treat, one not to be missed. This beluga lentil salad can easily be adapted for vegetarians.
For the salad:
- 1 cup beluga lentils (250 g)
- 1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
- 100 g paper-thin slices prosciutto di Parma, chopped
- 200 g green beans, trimmed
- bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1 small head butter lettuce (or other mild leaf lettuce)
For the dressing:
- juice from 1 1/2 large organic lemons
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- 4 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place lentils in a large saucepan, cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil (generally, lentils should be cooked at a 1:3 ratio, lentils to water), then simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Set aside.
In a small non-stick skillet, add the prosciutto and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate to cool.
In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients.
Add the red onion, green beans, cilantro and prosciutto to lentils; toss well with the dressing.
Season with salt and pepper and serve over a bed of salad greens. Serve and enjoy!
- If using French beans instead of green beans, adjust the blanching time accordingly, as the thin French beans cook quite quickly.
- I love this salad as it is, but if you would like to adapt this recipe for a plant-based diet see above for some of my ideas.
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