Filled with fresh herbs and crunchy radishes, this French lentil salad is a spring inspired twist on traditional tabbouleh.
We are officially in the home stretch, winter is in its last days and temperatures are on the rise.
As much as I enjoy the cozy soups and cups of cocoa fall and winter have to offer, I eagerly anticipate the arrival of spring. The markets are starting to fill with fresh produce, and after a long winter that is indeed a welcome sight.
Crisp and crunchy with a peppery bite, young spring radishes are one of my favorite vegetables to add to salads around this time of year, this in-between time that ushers out heartier winter fare in favor of lighter warm-weather meals. I’ve paired them with French lentils for a twist on traditional tabbouleh.
The French green lentils (lentilles du Puy) are the best ones to use here, because unlike other lentils they hold their shape and don’t turn to mush when cooked, which makes them an excellent blank canvas for all those Middle Eastern tabbouleh flavors.
True to tradition I’ve added a generous amount of fresh chopped parsley and green onions along with a kicky lemon and olive oil dressing, but that’s where the similarities end. Lentils stand-in for the bulgur while not yet in season tomatoes are swapped out for finely chopped radishes and broccoli for a spring inspired version instead. The crisp radishes add a pleasantly crunchy and cool contrast to the heartier lentils, while a touch of cumin and cayenne in the dressing adds undertones of earthiness and heat.
Easy to make and full of protein and fiber, this simple but satisfying salad is excellent weekday lunch material; it also packs well and can be dressed ahead of time which also makes it perfect picnic (or office lunch) food.