Lentil and Spinach Salad With Onion, Cumin and Garlic

"A wonderfully earthy salad that is great for a picnic or with BBQd meats, that improves with standing and that is better served at room temperature rather than chilled. I am posting this Middle Eastern-style salad for the 2005 Zaar World Tour. I found it in English chef Brian Glover's fabulous book 'The Onion Cookbook': a real culinary haven for lovers of onions, garlic, leeks, spring onions, shallots and chives."
photo by katie in the UP photo by katie in the UP
photo by katie in the UP
photo by katie in the UP photo by katie in the UP
Ready In:




  • Rinse the lentils and place them in a large saucepan and add plenty of water to cover; tie the bay leaf, celery and thyme into a bundle and add to the pan, then bring to the boil; reduce the heat so that the water boils steadily; cook the lentils for 30-40 minutes or until they are just tender. DO NOT ADD SALT at this stage, as it toughens the lentils.
  • Meanwhile, to make the dessing, mix the oil, mustard, 3 teaspoons vinegar, garlic and lemon rind, and season to taste with pepper and salt.
  • Thoroughly drain the lentils and transfer them to a bowl, add most of the dressing and toss until all the ingredients are well-combined, then set aside, stirring occasionally.
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan and cook the onions or shallots over a low heat for 4-5 minutes, until they are beginning to soften. Add the cumin and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the spinach and season to taste, cover and cook for 2 minutes; stir, then cook again briefly until wilted.
  • Stir the spinach into the lentils and leave the salad to cool. Bring back to room temperature if necessary. Stir in the remaining dressing and chopped parsley, adjust the seasoning, adding extra wine vinegar if necessary.
  • Transfer the salad to a serving platter and scatter over some parsley sprigs.
  • Chef's Note: Puy lentils are named after a town in France. They are considered to have the best and most distinctive flavour and they keep both their shape and colour well when cooked, making them ideal for salads.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. sjroelandts
    I'd like to give this a 3 1/2 stars - nice, and I'll definitely make it again. I used red onion as it was all I had, and in the future I'll either use brown onion or only very briefly cook the red. I'll use less olive oil in the dressing, and probably add some lemon juice. I used white wine vinegar instead of red and was very happy with this. I overcooked the lentils this time round, so next time will make sure they're out by 30 mins. Overall, a tasty dish. It made 3 smallish serves (4 as a side / lunch, 2 as a large meal).
  2. aprilfl514
    I served this warm with morrocan chicken and morrocan carrot salad. I loved it and so did the kids.
  3. Mandy
    A lovely fresh tasting salad and so good for you too. The dressing is very mild but lovely and I used spring onions but I think red onions would work better. Thanks for a no-guilt lunch!
  4. kelly in TO
    Wow, this is a really good salad. The whole combination was wonderful, there was so much flavor. Thanks so much for posting this is a keeper.
  5. katie in the UP
    This salad is fabulous!! I couldn't find 'Puy' lentils...but followed the rest of the ingredients exactly as written!! Delicious!! I was a little concerned about the cumin, for some reason I thought you had to use chili powder when using cumin...silly me!! Wonderful flavors! Thank you!!


July 2008 update: VERY happy to be back on Zaar after about a two year absence due to having had no internet connection at home, and having been too unwell for a time so that getting re-connected wasn't even a priority! <br> <br>And really looking forward to getting back into the Zaar world and connecting again with the many wonderful people I knew before, and new people, of course!
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes