Turkish Lentil, Spinach, Cucumber and Walnut Salad

Northwestgal avatar
By Vickie Parks
from Renton, WA

This is a great Turkish salad featuring green lentils, spinach, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and walnuts tossed in a honey and herb dressing and topped off with fresh mint and feta. Plan accordingly as some green lentils cook faster while others take a little extra cooking time. In general, Puy variety of green lentils usually cook in about 25 minutes, whereas French green lentils often take about 30 to 45 minutes to fully cook.

serves 6
prep time 30 Min
cook time 30 Min
method Stove Top


  •   1/2 cup
    dry green lentils
  •   1 1/2 cups
  •   3/4 tsp
    cumin seeds
  •   4 Tbsp
    olive oil, divided
  •   1 Tbsp
    lemon juice
  •   2 tsp
  •   2 clove
    garlic, minced
  •   1/2 tsp
    dried parsley
  •   1/4 tsp
    sea salt
  •   1/4 tsp
    black pepper
  •   1 large
    red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges (keeping root end intact)
  •   12
    cherry tomatoes, halved
  •   1 small
    english cucumber, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  •   2 cups
    baby spinach, packed
  •   1/2 cup
    toasted walnuts, chopped
  •   1/2 cup
    fresh mint leaves, chopped
  •   1/2 cup
    feta cheese, crumbled

How To Make

  • 1
    Rinse lentils under cool running water before cooking (to remove debris). Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low, add lentils and simmer until lentils are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes for green Puy lentils (or 30 to 45 minutes for French green lentils). Be sure the pan is large enough, as lentils will double or triple in size after cooking. Do not add salt to the water or it can make the lentils tough. Drain in colander when cooked.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, as lentils are cooking, toast the cuming seeds in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, and coarsely grind the toasted cumin seeds.
  • 3
    In a small bowl, whisk 3 Tbsp of the oil with the lemon juice, honey, garlic, ground cumin, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss 2 Tbsp of the dressing with the cooked lentils; set lentils aside.
  • 4
    Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté about 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
  • 5
    In a large salad bowl, toss together the lentils, cooled onion, tomato halves, cucumber, spinach, walnuts, and remaining dressing. Garnish with shredded mint and crumbled feta, and serve immediately.