Wondering what you can do with beluga lentils? Make our vibrant, delicious, beluga lentils salad! Loaded with vegetables like red peppers, celery, radishes, scallions and greek olives, it has a zingy lemon dijon mustard dressing and is served with crispy mushrooms on top. This healthy, vegan salad can easily be lunch or dinner.
What are beluga lentils
Tiny, dark, and dense black lentils–also known as Beluga Lentils–are named for the caviar they amazingly resemble. They are inexpensive, easy to cook, protein-packed, and delicious. Unlike other lentils that tend to get mushy when cooked, beluga lentils hold their shape and al dente texture during the cooking process.
Why this recipe sings
Our recipe calls for black lentils, otherwise called beluga or caviar lentils. Besides being delicious, this vegetable-laden, hearty salad provides good plant protein, veggies, and fiber. The dressing adds brightness with the help of lemons, dijon mustard, and garlic. Served with crispy earthy mushrooms, this beluga lentil salad is excellent for a healthy, satisfying lunch or dinner.
Here is what you need
- Beluga lentils. They hold their shape and al dente texture during the cooking.
- Bay leaf. For cooking the lentils.
- Garlic. For cooking the lentils as well as for the dressing.
- Lemon thyme. This lovely herb has scents of citrus fruits. You can grow it in your garden. Substitute with regular thyme sprigs.
- Scallions. They are milder than onions and taste fresh and summery.
- Red long-horn pepper. In Greece, we call them Florina peppers. It is cultivated in the northern Greek region of Western Macedonia, in Florina; The red pepper is known for its rich sweet flavor, used in various Greek dishes. You can find it in grocery stores in cans, topped with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and vinegar. Easy substitute with red bell peppers.
- Celery. For a crunchy and fresh bite.
- Radishes. They are cute, crunchy, and peppery. Best eaten raw, they can be easily sliced into salads and sandwiches or enjoyed whole and dipped into greek fava for a healthy snack.
- Olives. Any olives will work. Kalamata olives, wrinkly black ones from Crete, are all good. Remember to remove the pits.
- Fresh dill. It has a fresh, slightly sweet, citrus-like taste and adds immediate freshness to any dish. I like to pass additional lemon wedges around the table.
- Mushrooms. Any mushrooms can be used. Slice or chop them into small pieces and fry in olive oil until brown and crispy.
- Lemons. Lemon juice is the last note to the fried mushrooms and more in the dressing.
- Extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.
How to make it
Serve salad topped with mushrooms, toasted bread on the side, extra lemon wedges, and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling.
Beluga Lentils Salad
For the lentils
- 1 cup beluga lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 garlic clove with skin
- 1 lemon thyme sprigs
- 2 scallions sliced
- 2 medium red long horn pepper diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 3 small radishes thinly sliced
- ½ cup olives pitted, sliced
- ⅓ dill bunch finely chopped
For the mushroom topping
- 1½ cups sliced white mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
For the vinaigrette
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
You will also need
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
Make the dressing
- Whisk together one tablespoon dijon mustard, two tablespoons lemon juice, four tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, two garlic cloves minced ,¼ teaspoon sea salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper in a small bowl until emulsified. Note: You can add the ingredients to a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until emulsified.
Cook the lentils
- In a pot, cook the lentils in boiling water without salt, with the bay leaf, a garlic clove and a lemon thyme sprig for about 20-25 minutes until they are cooked and still firm.
- Strain the lentils and discard the bay leaf thyme and garlic. Leave them in the colander to drain and cool.
- Dice and slice your vegetables.
Assemble and marinate
- Place the lentils in a bowl and add dressing, scallions, red peppers, celery, dill, and olives. Mix well. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Refrigerate for one hour.
Right before serving, prepare the mushroom topping.
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until browned and crispy. Remove from heat and pour the juice from one lemon over the mushrooms.
- Serve salad topped with mushrooms, toasted bread on the side, extra lemon wedges and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling.