Lentil Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Lentil Cucumber & Tomato Salad- summer’s best vegetables tossed in a tangy lemon dressing. Served with fresh herbs, it makes for a light and refreshing summer meal!
Think of this as your favorite cucumber and tomato salad jazzed up enough to make it a meal. It’s tangy, light, refreshing, and is my go-to recipe to prep for summertime lunches.
Outside of cooking the lentils, it’s just a matter of chopping the vegetables and herbs, and squeezing a few lemons. It takes less than 30 minutes to prep and holds up great in the refrigerator for several days.
Lentil, Cucumber and Tomato Salad Ingredients
- French Green Lentils- If you’re not familiar with green lentils, they are a bit smaller than brown lentils but have a very similar flavor. I like to use them here because they tend to hold their shape better which makes for a prettier salad. However, you can also use brown lentils if that’s what you have on hand.
- Cucumbers- Any kind of cucumbers will work, just make sure they are fresh and crisp.
- Tomatoes- Cherry tomatoes are my top choice for this salad but I’ve also used roma tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes with good results. Just keep in mind if you use the latter you will probably want to deseed them first.
- Red Onion- I recommend sticking with red onion over other varieties as it’s best eaten raw and blends seamlessly into this salad.
- Fresh Parsley and Mint- Fresh herbs are key to making this salad stand out. Parsley pairs so well with the lemon and fresh mint lends a refreshing flavor that’s a perfect match for the salty feta.
- White Vinegar- You could probably get away with using all lemon juice here but I love the tangy flavor that vinegar has to offer.
- Lemon Juice- The brightness of the lemon juice really makes this salad and it also offers up a nice dose of vitamin C to help us absorb the iron in the lentils.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- The fruitiness of the olive oil balances out the tanginess and contributes a healthy serving of omega-3s.
- Crumbled Feta Cheese- This ingredients is totally optional but we enjoy the salty bite it offers. I prefer to keep it vegan by using Violife’s dairy-free feta cheese. A homemade tofu feta would also great here.
How to Make Lentil, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- Cook the Lentils. I prefer to soak mine for at least 6 hours prior to cooking as this step helps aid in proper digestion. Pre soaking them also reduces the cooking time to about 15 minutes.
- Chop the vegetables and herbs. This step is pretty straightforward and can be done as the lentils cook.
- Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. So simple yet so good.
- Add everything to a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!
As I said above, this is great for prepping in advance because the vegetables and lentils continue to absorb the flavors of the dressing as it sits. If you’re serving for a party it’s best to prep a few hours in advance but it will hold up for several days if you’d like to make it for lunches. It’s just not as pretty as it is on the first day. :)
Want more refreshing summer salads?
Lentil, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- 2 cups cooked French green lentils, about 1 cup dry
- 2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped into quarters
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, juice of approximately 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- 4 ounces feta cheese, I use vegan feta to make it dairy-free
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Rinse the lentils and pick out any hard pieces. Combine them with 2 cups water in a saucepan then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-30 minutes, until tender. Strain any excess liquid then rinse with cold water, and strain again.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked lentils and chopped vegetables/herbs. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil then pour on top of the lentils and veggies. Stir to combine.
- Sprinkle feta cheese on top then stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.