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The Best Lentil Salad, Ever

The name doesn’t lie. And every single person who has eaten this salad will agree: it’s simply the best. The list of ingredients may look long, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice it’s mostly spices. It is this special combination of flavours that creates a truly remarkable salad that is lip-smackingly tasty, and totally addictive.

The star of the show is the delectable “Du Puy” lentil, sometimes referred to as “the poor man’s caviar”. Du Puy lentils are quite a bit smaller than green or brown lentils, and are revered for their ability to retain their shape after being cooked. Green, brown, and red lentils are great in soups because they are soft, mushy, and tend to fall apart, but those would be less-than-perfect choices for this salad. Du Puy lentils work better in salads than in soups and stews because they tend to be a little more robust, and when cooked properly, they will retain just a little tooth. You can find these lovely legumes at any quality grocery store, natural food, or health food store.

One of my most-cooked meals by far, it’s rare that a month goes by that I don’t make The Best Lentil Salad, Ever. Picnics to pot-lucks, lunches to brunches, vegans to meat-eaters, this one-bowl wonder is one shared by people all over the world. If this is one of your favourites too, let’s make it together!

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The Best Lentil Salad, Ever


  • 2 ¼ cups / 1 lb. / 500g Du Puy lentils
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 1 cup / 140g dried currants sub with raisins or other dried fruit
  • cup / 40g brined capers


  • cup / 80ml cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup / 60ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. strong mustard
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Optional add-ins:

  • Arugula
  • Walnuts
  • Goat cheese
  • Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley cilantro, basil
  • Sprouts
  • Crispy seasonal veggies


  • Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful!
  • While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine.
  • Finely dice red onion – the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size. If using raisins, chop them roughly to make them a bit smaller, and do the same with the capers if they are large.
  • When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add other onion, capers, and currants. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for several days – I think it just gets better and better!