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French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese Recipe

This French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese recipe is a refreshing and hearty dish to make. With the robust flavor of French green lentils, the tang of goat cheese, and the freshness of herbs and vegetables, this salad is sure to satisfy both your taste buds and your health goals. It's the perfect side dish for any meal or can stand alone as a light lunch or dinner.

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Photos of French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese Recipe

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French green lentils, the star of this recipe, may not be a staple in your pantry but they are worth seeking out. They hold their shape better than other lentils and have a slightly nutty flavor. They can be found in the international aisle or health food section of most supermarkets. The goat cheese adds a creamy tang that balances the earthiness of the lentils.

Ingredients for French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

French green lentils: These lentils are known for their slightly peppery flavor and firm texture they maintain even after cooking.

Chicken broth: Adds a depth of flavor to the lentils as they cook.

Bay leaf: Infuses the lentils with a subtle herbal aroma.

Carrot: Adds a fresh crunch and sweetness to the salad.

Celery: Provides a refreshing crisp texture.

Thyme: This herb enhances the flavor of the salad with its subtle earthy notes.

Parsley: Adds color and a light fresh flavor.

Garlic: Gives a slight kick to the dressing.

Dijon mustard: Adds tanginess to the salad dressing.

Honey: Balances the mustard with a touch of sweetness.

Salt: Enhances all the flavors.

Black Pepper: Adds a bit of heat and complexity.

Lemon Juice: Provides acidity to balance the richness of the olive oil in the dressing.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Forms the base of the salad dressing, adding a rich, fruity flavor.

Goat cheese: Creamy and tangy, it's the perfect complement to the hearty lentils.

One reader, Kaitlin Ferrell says:

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This French lentil salad with goat cheese recipe is a game-changer! The combination of tender lentils, fresh herbs, and creamy goat cheese is simply divine. The flavors are perfectly balanced, and the dish is so satisfying. It's a must-try for anyone looking for a healthy and delicious meal.

Kaitlin Ferrell

Techniques Required for Making French Lentil Salad

How to cook the lentils: Rinse the lentils well and pick over them to remove any small rocks or debris. Combine the lentils, chicken broth, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 25-30 minutes for French green lentils or 20-25 minutes for common brown or green lentils. Remove the bay leaf, strain, and let cool.

How to prepare the salad: In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except for the goat cheese. Add the cooled lentils and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

How to serve the salad: Transfer the salad to a serving dish, crumble the goat cheese over the top, and serve. Be sure to allow at least 10 minutes for the lentils to cool after they have cooked.

How To Make French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

This fiber-filled French lentil salad makes up a light meal loaded with goat cheese, carrots, and green lentils tossed in a tangy-sweet dressing.

Preparation: 45 minutes
Cooking:
Chill Time: 10 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1cupFrench green lentils,or common brown or green lentils
  • 3cupschicken broth
  • 1bay leaf
  • 1large carrot,finely diced
  • 2celery ribs,finely diced
  • tspfresh thyme,finely chopped
  • 3tbspfresh parsley,finely chopped
  • 1garlic clove,minced
  • 1tspdijon mustard
  • 1tsphoney
  • ½tspsalt
  • ¼tspground black pepper
  • 2tbsplemon juice,freshly squeezed
  • ¼cupextra virgin olive oil
  • 3ozgoat cheese

Instructions

  1. Combine lentils, chicken broth and bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes for French green lentils or 20 to 25 minutes for common brown or green lentils, until lentils are tender. Remove bay leaf, strain and let cool.

  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients except goat cheese. Add cooled lentils and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

  3. Transfer salad to serving dish, then crumble goat cheese over top.

  4. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 861.77kcal
  • Fat: 41.67g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.29g
  • Trans Fat: 0.00g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 24.12g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.45g
  • Carbohydrates: 83.68g
  • Fiber: 12.53g
  • Sugar: 13.25g
  • Protein: 41.71g
  • Cholesterol: 30.36mg
  • Sodium: 1386.02mg
  • Calcium: 151.93mg
  • Potassium: 1326.56mg
  • Iron: 8.87mg
  • Vitamin A: 463.94µg
  • Vitamin C: 23.48mg

Helpful Technique for Preparing French Lentil Salad

When cooking lentils, it's important to not overcook them as they can become mushy and lose their shape. To check for doneness, simply take a bite. They should be tender but still hold their shape and have a slight bite to them. This will ensure they add a nice texture to your French lentil salad.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Lentil Salad Recipe

Prep ahead: Cook the lentils in advance and store them in the refrigerator. This will save time when assembling the salad later.

Multi-task: While the lentils are cooking, prepare the other ingredients to maximize efficiency in the kitchen.

Use pre-crumbled goat cheese: Opt for pre-crumbled goat cheese to save time on crumbling it yourself.

Invest in a lemon squeezer: Using a lemon squeezer can save time and effort when extracting lemon juice for the dressing.

Chop in bulk: Consider chopping extra carrots, celery, and herbs to have them ready for future recipes, saving time on prep work.

Substitute Ingredients For French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese Recipe

  • french green lentils – Substitute with brown lentils: Brown lentils have a similar earthy flavor and texture to French green lentils, making them a suitable substitute in this recipe.

  • chicken broth – Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can be used as a vegetarian-friendly alternative to chicken broth, providing a similar depth of flavor to the dish.

  • bay leaf – Substitute with dried thyme: Dried thyme can add a subtle herbal note to the dish, similar to the aromatic quality of bay leaf.

  • celery – Substitute with fennel bulb: Fennel bulb can offer a similar crunchy texture and a hint of anise flavor to the salad, complementing the other ingredients.

  • fresh thyme – Substitute with dried thyme: Dried thyme can be used as a substitute for fresh thyme, providing a similar earthy and herbal flavor to the dish.

  • fresh parsley – Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can add a fresh and vibrant herbaceous flavor to the salad, replacing the role of fresh parsley.

  • dijon mustard – Substitute with whole grain mustard: Whole grain mustard can provide a similar tangy and slightly grainy texture, adding depth to the dressing.

  • goat cheese – Substitute with feta cheese: Feta cheese can offer a tangy and creamy element to the salad, similar to the role of goat cheese.

Presentation Ideas for French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

  1. Elevate the lentil salad with a stunning presentation: When plating the French lentil salad, consider using a ring mold to create a neat and elegant presentation. Place the ring mold on the serving plate and carefully pack the salad inside. Once the ring mold is lifted, the salad will hold a beautiful shape, creating a visually appealing presentation.

  2. Garnish with vibrant herb oil: Create a vibrant herb oil by blending fresh parsley, thyme, and olive oil until smooth. Drizzle the herb oil around the edge of the plate to add a pop of color and a burst of fresh herb flavor to the dish. This simple yet sophisticated touch will impress the most discerning palates.

  3. Incorporate edible flowers for a touch of elegance: Introduce a touch of elegance to the dish by incorporating edible flowers as a delicate garnish. Choose colorful and edible blooms such as nasturtiums or pansies to add a visually stunning and gourmet touch to the lentil salad.

  4. Present the goat cheese in a creative manner: Instead of simply crumbling the goat cheese over the salad, consider shaping the goat cheese into quenelles for an elevated presentation. Use two spoons to shape the goat cheese into elegant ovals and delicately place them on top of the salad for a refined and professional finish.

  5. Utilize microgreens for a sophisticated touch: Sprinkle a handful of vibrant microgreens, such as arugula or radish sprouts, over the lentil salad just before serving. The delicate and fresh microgreens will not only add a burst of color but also provide a subtle peppery flavor, enhancing the overall presentation and taste of the dish.

  6. Create a visually appealing contrast with the plate: Select a plate that provides a striking contrast to the colors of the lentil salad. For example, a sleek white plate will allow the vibrant colors of the salad and garnishes to stand out, creating a visually stunning presentation that is sure to impress.

  7. Add a touch of luxury with a balsamic reduction: Drizzle a small amount of balsamic reduction in an artistic pattern on the plate before placing the lentil salad. The rich, sweet, and tangy flavor of the balsamic reduction will add a touch of luxury and sophistication to the dish, elevating its overall presentation.

  8. Incorporate a textural element with crispy prosciutto: Enhance the presentation and texture of the lentil salad by adding a crispy prosciutto chip as a decorative element. The delicate and savory prosciutto chip will provide a delightful crunch and an elegant visual appeal to the dish.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Lentil Salad

  • Cutting board: A sturdy surface for chopping, slicing, and preparing ingredients.

  • Chef's knife: A versatile and sharp knife for various cutting and chopping tasks.

  • Medium saucepan: For cooking the lentils and other ingredients.

  • Large bowl: To mix and toss the salad ingredients.

  • Strainer: For draining the cooked lentils.

  • Serving dish: A dish to present and serve the salad.

  • Citrus juicer: For squeezing fresh lemon juice.

  • Measuring cups and spoons: For accurate measurement of ingredients.

  • Whisk: To mix the dressing ingredients thoroughly.

  • Cheese grater: For crumbling the goat cheese over the salad.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Lentil Salad

  • To store leftover french lentil salad, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. The flavors will meld together beautifully, making it even more delicious the next day.
  • If you plan to make the salad ahead of time, it's best to store the lentils and dressing separately. Combine them just before serving to prevent the lentils from becoming too soggy.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the cooked lentils without the dressing for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before tossing with the remaining ingredients.
  • It's not recommended to freeze the entire salad, as the texture of the vegetables and goat cheese may change significantly upon thawing.
  • If you have leftover dressing, store it in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It can be used as a flavorful addition to other salads or as a marinade for grilled vegetables or meats.

How To Reheat Lentil Salad Leftovers

  • To reheat leftover french lentil salad, start by removing the goat cheese from the top of the salad and setting it aside. This will prevent the cheese from melting and becoming greasy during the reheating process.
  • Place the lentil salad in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the salad is heated through. Be careful not to overheat the salad, as this can cause the lentils to become mushy.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat the lentil salad in a skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of chicken broth or water to the skillet to help moisten the salad and prevent it from sticking to the pan. Stir the salad frequently until it is heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Once the salad is heated, transfer it to a serving dish and crumble the reserved goat cheese over the top. If desired, you can also add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil to brighten up the flavors.
  • If you prefer a cold salad, you can also enjoy the leftover lentil salad straight from the refrigerator. Allow the salad to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving to take the chill off and allow the flavors to develop.
  • For a more substantial meal, consider serving the reheated lentil salad over a bed of fresh greens or alongside a piece of grilled chicken or fish. The hearty lentils and tangy goat cheese pair well with a variety of proteins and vegetables.

Interesting Fact About French Lentil Salad

The French green lentil salad with goat cheese recipe is a delicious and nutritious dish. It's a great source of protein and fiber, making it a healthy option for a meal. The combination of lentils, fresh herbs, and tangy goat cheese creates a flavorful and satisfying salad. This recipe is also versatile and can be customized with additional ingredients such as roasted vegetables or nuts. It's a perfect dish for a light lunch or as a side for a dinner spread. Plus, the lentils are a great source of plant-based protein, making this salad suitable for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Is Making Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese Cost-Effective?

This french lentil salad with goat cheese recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. The main ingredient, french green lentils, is budget-friendly and packed with nutrients. The addition of fresh herbs and vegetables enhances the flavor without breaking the bank. The goat cheese adds a touch of luxury without significantly impacting the overall cost. This dish is a solid 9/10 for cost-effectiveness. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-$12, making it an affordable and nutritious option for any family.

Is This Lentil Salad Recipe Healthy?

This French lentil salad with goat cheese recipe is a nutritious and well-balanced dish. Here's why:

  • Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential minerals like iron and folate.
  • The recipe uses chicken broth, which adds flavor and nutrients, but you could easily substitute vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.
  • Fresh vegetables like carrots and celery provide vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
  • Herbs like thyme and parsley add flavor and antioxidants without increasing calorie content.
  • The dressing contains heart-healthy olive oil, lemon juice for vitamin C, and Dijon mustard for a tangy kick.
  • Goat cheese adds a creamy texture and a boost of protein and calcium, but the amount used is moderate, keeping the dish relatively low in saturated fat.

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Increase the amount of vegetables in the salad by adding diced bell peppers, cucumber, or cherry tomatoes for added fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Experiment with different types of lentils, such as beluga or red lentils, to vary the texture and nutrient profile of the dish.
  • Reduce the amount of goat cheese or opt for a lower-fat variety to decrease the overall fat content of the salad.
  • Include a handful of chopped nuts, such as walnuts or almonds, for an extra crunch and a dose of healthy fats and protein.
  • Serve the lentil salad over a bed of mixed greens to increase the volume and nutrient density of the meal without significantly increasing calorie content.

Editor's Opinion on This French Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad

The French lentil salad with goat cheese recipe is a delightful combination of earthy lentils, vibrant vegetables, and tangy goat cheese. The use of fresh herbs and a zesty dressing elevates the flavors, creating a refreshing and satisfying dish. The lentils provide a hearty base, while the goat cheese adds a creamy and slightly tangy element. The overall balance of flavors and textures makes this salad a versatile and impressive addition to any meal. It's a wonderful choice for a light lunch or a flavorful side dish.

Enhance Your French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Root Vegetables: Try a medley of roasted root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, and beets, seasoned with herbs and olive oil for a colorful and flavorful side dish.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Grill some fresh asparagus spears and sprinkle with lemon zest for a bright and tangy side to complement the earthy flavors of the lentil salad.
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts: Toss Brussels sprouts in a balsamic glaze and roast until caramelized for a sweet and savory side dish that pairs well with the goat cheese in the salad.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love This Lentil Salad

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl: This recipe combines roasted vegetables with fluffy quinoa for a healthy and satisfying meal.
Balsamic Glazed Salmon: A delicious and flavorful way to prepare salmon, this recipe features a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: For a refreshing and tropical dessert, try this chia pudding made with ripe mango and creamy coconut milk.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for French Lentil Salad

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Bruschetta: Indulge in the classic Italian appetizer of bruschetta, featuring toasted bread topped with a vibrant mixture of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil. A refreshing and satisfying start to any gathering.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Satisfy your sweet tooth with a creamy and luscious strawberry cheesecake, featuring a buttery graham cracker crust and a vibrant strawberry topping for a delightful treat.

Why trust this French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese Recipe:

This French lentil salad with goat cheese recipe is a delightful combination of french green lentils, chicken broth, fresh thyme, and creamy goat cheese. The use of fresh parsley and lemon juice adds a burst of flavor, while the dijon mustard and honey create a harmonious balance. The careful instructions ensure perfectly cooked lentils, and the addition of carrots and celery provides a satisfying crunch. With its vibrant colors and robust flavors, this recipe promises a delightful dining experience, earning the trust of all who try it.

Share your thoughts on this French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
FAQ:
Can I use brown or green lentils instead of French green lentils?
Yes, you can substitute brown or green lentils for the French green lentils in this recipe. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly, as brown or green lentils may cook faster than French green lentils.
Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?
Absolutely! Vegetable broth can be used as a substitute for chicken broth in this recipe, especially if you prefer a vegetarian version.
How long can I store the lentil salad with goat cheese?
The lentil salad with goat cheese can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just make sure to give it a good toss before serving any leftovers.
Can I add other vegetables to the salad?
Certainly! You can customize the salad by adding other vegetables like diced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, or even some finely chopped red onion for extra flavor and texture.
Can I use a different type of cheese instead of goat cheese?
Of course! Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese, such as feta or even crumbled blue cheese, to suit your taste preferences.

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