This colourful vegan lentil salad is packed with good for you ingredients. It’s clean eating at it’s best. Black beluga lentils are tossed together with citrus, red cabbage, carrot and yellow beetroot, fresh herbs and toasted almonds, and then infused with a delicious citrus-ginger vinaigrette. The result a nutritious and delicious vegan salad that can be made ahead, making it perfect for midweek lunches!
What kind of lentils are best for a salad?
Black and green lentils are the best option as they hold their shape well when cooked. You can also use brown lentils, however I find they a little more earthy tasting so prefer to use them for hearty recipes, like this recipe for Lentil Salad with Roasted Potatoes. I particularly love using black beluga lentils for this type of salad however they can be used interchangeably with French puy lentils (green lentils). Both have a great have a great al dente texture when cooked, making them prefect for salads.
How to adapt this vegan lentil salad?
What I love about this vegan lentil salad is that it incorporates a variety of plant-based foods. The oranges add some welcome sweetness to earthy lentils, and pair well with carrots, beet and red cabbage. However you could leave the oranges out, our trade them for pomegranate seeds, or use a mix of both.
You could also easily make this salad without the beetroot. Or use roasted carrot and beetroot in place of the raw vegetables. As for the nuts, try a handful of toasted cashews, or even toasted mixed seeds. Another idea, would be to serve this over a bed of tender winter greens, like purslane or lambs lettuce.
Looking for other lentil salad inspiration?
Try one of these delicious lentils salad recipes:
- Lentil Salad with Apple & Carrots
- Beluga Lentil Salad with Middle Eastern Lemon Dressing
- Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad with Dijon-Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Beluga Lentil Salad with Green Beans & Lemon-Mint Dressing
Vegan Lentil Salad with Orange & Citrus-Ginger Dressing
For the salad:
- 200 g beluga lentils (or French green Puy lentils)
- 2 oranges (e.g. cara cara, valencia, blood orange), peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 small red cabbage, finely shredded (200 g)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 small red or yellow beetroot, peeled and grated
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted
For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar (Japanese)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (1/2 an orange)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon coarse or flaky sea salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook lentils according to package instructions. Place lentils in a medium saucepan. With 3 times amount of cold water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a steady simmer, and cook until just tender (al dente), 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool running water. Transfer the lentils to a large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, rice vinegar, orange juice, lemon juice, ginger, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper).
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrot, beet, parsley, lentils and drizzle with the dressing. Toss until well combined, then add orange slices and most of the almonds. Toss again until evenly distributed. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper and extra squeeze of lemon juice, as desired. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds.
Serve and enjoy!
- Vegetarians can use honey instead of maple syrup, if preferred. The amount can be increased to 2 teaspoons, if you prefer a sweeter dressing.
- Japanese rice vinegar can be found in your local asian food store, well-stocked supermarkets or online. I like to use OTAFUKU (unpaid mention!).
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