I usually make this Vegetarian Lentil Salad with Gorgonzola Recipe as the main dish. It is packed with all the goodness of protein, herbs, and intense flavors. It will keep your stomach full and the hunger away for the rest of the day.
I was inspired to create this recipe by one of my favorite cookbooks author, Yotam Ottolenghi, who has a similar recipe in his Vegetarian Book Plenty.
Now that I live in Italy, I have to say that if you can use Castelluccio lentils or Puy lentils, as he suggests, you should go for them, but if you don’t, go ahead and use green lentils, and I will give you here a tip, to make it work.
I am also changing some ingredients for fun and cutting corners by simplifying some steps, just so you can make them faster and enjoy this fabulous dish without much planning.
This green lentil salad with blue cheese uses a couple of ingredients that make it a winner. It works as a lentil side dish and also as a lentil main dish; just change the portion sizes.
- Dry tomatoes
- Red Onions or shallots
- Blue cheese (Gorgonzola Cheese)
- Green lentils
- Herbs (fresh thyme sprigs, mint, chives, and dill)
- Fresh garlic
- Red wine Vvnegar
See quantities and full instructions in the recipe card.
Wash and bring the lentils to a boil (optionally with 2 bay leaves). If using regular green lentils, boil them for 20 mins with a teaspoon of sea salt. Otherwise, if you use Castelluccio lentils, Puy lentils, or the smaller French green lentils, only boil them for 10-15 mins.
The idea is to have tender lentils that still keep shape and texture and do not look mushy. Then drain them.
Slice and soak. Place the sliced onion in a medium bowl with salted water and vinegar for a couple of minutes to lose its intense flavor.
Slice the dried tomatoes lengthwise.
Mix all the lentil salad recipe ingredients in a bowl, except for the cheese and fresh herbs.
Stir in the gorgonzola cheese and herbs, and serve on a large plate. When the mix cools down, sprinkle the chopped herbs and gorgonzola cheese, and optionally drizzle some olive oil.
This lentil salad recipe can be customized in various ways; see some suggestions.
Vinegar - you can replace the red wine vinegar with balsamic vinegar.
Herbs - if you miss any herbs, feel free to replace them with fresh parsley.
More veggies - when we want an even more veggie-packed blue-cheese salad, we like adding finely chopped carrots and celery.
Crunch - we like adding some crunchy notes by slightly toasting a handful of walnuts in a saucepan and coarsely crushing them.
Which Lentils to use? So, why may Puy or Castellucio lentils work better than ordinary green lentils?
These lentil varieties are small breeds that look almost like bigger quinoa and do not disintegrate in the cooking like your standard lentils would, giving you a nice, delicate texture in every bite.
For this Blue Cheese Salad, I made another change. I replaced the oven-baked tomatoes with store-bought oil-preserved dehydrated ones. Any dry tomatoes that you can hydrate with warm water will do.
If you have extra sun-dried tomatoes in your pantry, you should try making some easy recipes, such as our sun-dried tomato risotto, red pesto, herbs stuffed mushrooms, and portobello mushrooms. They are all super easy and satisfying recipes.
Benefits of lentils
Eat your Lentils! They are a staple of every plant-based diet! This is why?
Lentils in every color are low in calories, rich in iron and folate, and an excellent source of protein.
They pack health-promoting polyphenols and may reduce several heart disease risk factors.
Looking for some filling salads inspiration?
Read on: Vegan Chickpea and Avocado Salad
Also, check out our homemade vinaigrette, made in 5 minutes to pimp up any green salad with a flavor boost.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Green Lentil Salad with Gorgonzola
- 1 ½ cups green lentils plus 4 cups water to boil
- 4 ounces gorgonzola cheese or blue cheese, crumbled
- 10 dried tomatoes preserved in oil, or 10 dried tomatoes, hydrated in warm water, and dry herbs for 10 minutes
- 1 small red onion or shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove small, crushed
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh chives chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
- ½ fennel sliced
- 1 cup rucola
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Wash the lentils and bring them to boil for 20 mins if using regular lentils or 10-15 mins if using Castelluccio or Puy lentils. The idea is to have lentils that do not look mushy. See notes for water ratio.
- Place the sliced onion in salted water and vinegar for a couple of minutes so it loses its intense flavor.
- Slice the dried tomatoes lenghtwise.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the cheese and fresh herbs.
- When the mix has cool down, add the chopped herbs and cheese.
- Get Ready to enjoy one of the tastiest salads, you have had!
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience that the average visitor may not. Add to or remove the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking points to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
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