French Lentil Salad

4.92 from 12 votes
1 hour
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French Lentil Salad is a lovely and delicious way to ring in spring!  With radishes, young green beans and baby lettuces, it’s perfect for that first dinner on the patio!

Photo of French Lentil Salad on white background in white bowl with serving spoon and fork.

French Lentil Salad is the perfect way to ring in spring.  There’s still some cold weather heartiness happening with the lentils and bacon here but spring shows up with radishes, baby greens and the young green beans.

How to make French Lentil Salad:

  • I used green lentils rather than brown for this French Lentil Salad.  They take longer to cook than brown but work better in salads because they hold together better after cooking.
Photo of green lentils in glass jar.
  • Always be sure to look lentils over for any debris such as twigs, stones or shriveled lentils.  You definitely don’t want to bite down on something like that!
  • I use an inexpensive white paper plate to sort through them.  Any debris is easy to see on the white background and I can then bend the plate and “funnel” the lentils into the cooking water.
  • Cook the lentils until tender but not overcooked.
  • Then, crisp up the bacon.
Photo of diced, cooked bacon in skillet.
  • I tried to”get my French on” by pulling out my mandoline to slice the radishes thinly and perfectly.  That didn’t last long because radishes are small and I’m deathly afraid of slicing the top off a finger.  Just use a good sharp knife.
Photo of freshly washed radishes with tops still on.
  • The French would most likely use “haricot verts” in a recipe such as this.  “Haricot vert” is French for small, expensive green beans.  Okay, not really but yes, they’re way more expensive.  Use them if you wish, but if you’ve got some time and patience, simply dig through the green bean bin at the supermarket and pick out approximately eight ounces of the smallest ones.
Photo of fresh green beans in white colander.
  • Frisee can be a little difficult to find.  You can generally find it near the specialty packaged lettuce area and sold as baby lettuces with baby romaine.  You don’t want to confuse it with escarole which has a slightly more bitter flavor.
Photo of frisee lettuce.
  • Add a salty bite with Kalamata or Nicoise olives, toss with an easy, classic French-style vinaigrette and…
Close-up photo of French Lentil Salad in white bowl on white background with serving spoon and fork.

…you’ve got this beautiful French Lentil Salad to enjoy a lovely spring evening outside!

Photo of French Lentil Salad on white background in white bowl with serving spoon and fork.

Serve with a bowl of simple creamy tomato soup and you’ve got the perfect spring meal!

Be sure to try these other spring salad recipes:

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French Lentil Salad on white background in white bowl with serving spoon and fork.

French Lentil Salad

4.92 from 12 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
French Lentil Salad is a lovely and delicious way to ring in spring!  With radishes, young green beans and baby lettuces, it’s perfect for that first dinner on the patio!
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dishes – Salads
Cuisine French
Servings 6
Calories 376 kcal

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • Salt
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 6 slices bacon - sliced into strips or chopped
  • 1/2 pound green beans - preferably young green beans such as haricot verts, trimmed and cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
  • 8-10 radishes - thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives - or Nicoise
  • 2-3 cups frisee lettuce - torn

Dressing

  • 1 small shallot - peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil - plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste

Instructions
 

Salad

  • Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook on high for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender but not falling apart.
  • While the lentils are boiling, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-line plate to drain.
  • When the lentils have about a minute or two to go, add the green beans. Drain in a sieve or colander and cool under cold tap water. Drain well then transfer to a large bowl. Add the radishes and olives.

Dressing

  • Whisk dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over lentils and vegetables as needed and stir. (You may not need all the dressing as you don't want it soggy.)
  • TO SERVE: Place frisee lettuce in a large serving bowl. Top with lentil mixture and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  The lentils, bacon and green beans can be cooked 1-2 days ahead of time.  The dressing can be made 2-3 days ahead of time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 235mg | Potassium: 584mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6215IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 4mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.92 from 12 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This looks so hearty and nourishing. 🙂 We’re heading into winter here in Australia, so the mere thought of salad makes me shiver, but I’d love a warm version of this. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This looks so hearty and nourishing. 🙂 We’re heading into winter here in Australia, so the mere thought of salad makes me shiver, but I’d love a warm version of this. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This looks so hearty and nourishing. 🙂 We’re heading into winter here in Australia, so the mere thought of salad makes me shiver, but I’d love a warm version of this. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Carol, this salad looks so delicious and plenty of unique flavors for the spring! We love adding fresh green beans to our salads or even sugar snap peas! Your pics are gorgeous too!

  5. 5 stars
    Carol, this salad looks so delicious and plenty of unique flavors for the spring! We love adding fresh green beans to our salads or even sugar snap peas! Your pics are gorgeous too!

  6. 5 stars
    Carol, this salad looks so delicious and plenty of unique flavors for the spring! We love adding fresh green beans to our salads or even sugar snap peas! Your pics are gorgeous too!