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Lentil and Walnut Salad


This typical lentil salad from Nancy Harmon Jenkins's The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook can be modified to suit your taste and the season. You can omit the walnuts (though they do pack some extra omegas) and substitute black olives or a crumble of feta. The flavors you enjoy are the ones you should use.  Serve over mixed or bitter greens, such as arugula or endive.

1 cup green or brown lentils
2 cups water
¾ cup chopped scallions
1 sweet red pepper, diced
½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the lentils with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan tightly, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked through but still firm enough to hold their shape.

2. When the lentils are done, remove from heat, drain, and place in a bowl along with the scallions, red pepper, parsley, and walnuts.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the mustard with the vinegar, beating in a little at a time until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Gradually beat in the olive oil.

4. Toss dressing with the lentils and add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, a Bantam hardcover © 2009 Nancy Harmon Jenkins.


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