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I love the versatility of lentils. They are used in so many ways and so many cuisines. Packed with protein, fiber, and folate, these little legumes are easy to prepare and are great for meals made in advance. This salad is full of flavor and texture. I love the crunch of the hazelnuts and the creaminess of the cheese. I ate it several days at work and was really impressed with it’s ability to keep me full.

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Lentil Salad with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese (from here)

  • 1 cup French green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 6 cup water
  • 2 cups low‐sodium vegetable broth
  • 5 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 tbsp extra‐virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped curly parsley
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 oz shredded hard goat cheese (I used Gouda)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped, toasted hazelnuts

Place lentils and salt in a bowl. Cover with 4 cups of warm water and soak for an hour. Drain well. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place drained lentils, 2 cups water, all of broth, garlic, bay leaf, and 1/2 tsp salt in an oven-proof baking dish. Cover and bake until lentils are tender, 40 to 60 minutes (it took mine 45 minutes). In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and mustard. Drain lentils well, discarding the garlic and bay leaf. To the drained lentils, add the parsley and shallots. Pour in the dressing and stir to coat everything evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When ready to serve, top with the cheese and hazelnuts.

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