Lentil Salad with Sautéed Vegetables and Feta

My sister has gifted me with some great cookbooks that will be heirlooms someday.  I take very good care of them so they can be passed down to our goddaughter, nephews and nieces.

One birthday gift from her was Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food.  She gave me this back when we were on the locavore band wagon.

I hate to say I hadn’t picked it up in a long while.

As the name suggests, The Art of Simple Food begins with “Part I: Starting from Scratch” (simple foundational recipes like vinaigrette, bread, broths, etc.).  “Part I” takes up a little over half of the book and is fairly comprehensive.   “Part II: At the Table” includes typical recipes (albiet with the Alice Waters’ perspective) including appetizers, sauces, salads, soups, pastas, breads & grains, eggs & cheese, veggies, fish, poultry, meat, and finally, desserts.

Waters also includes notes on her recipes for variations and tips.  “For a richer soup, us all chicken broth.  For a lighter, vegetarian soup, us all water.”

Her recipes are written in the older style where directions are given in between the ingredients in paragraph form:  “Sort and rinse 1 cup lentils.  Cover with water….Toss the lentils with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, salt and pepper…”

I’ve modernized her recipe a bit here.

Lentil Salad

Alice Waters in The Art of Simple Food

French green lentils or black Beluga lentils are the best varieties to use for lentil salads because they have lots of flavor and they hold their shape when cooked.


  • 1 c. lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. thinly sliced scallions or 3 T. finely diced shallot*
  • 3 T. chopped parsley


  1. Cover with water by 3 inches and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until tender all the way through–adding more water if necessary), about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve 1/2 c. cooking liquid.
  2. Toss lentils with the vinegar, salt and pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and vinegar if needed.
  3. Add olive oil, scallions and parsley. Stir to combine. If the salad seems dry, loosen with a bit of the reserved cooking liquid.

Yield: 4

Again, as with most of her recipes, Waters provides many variations and add-ins.  For the Lentil Salad she suggests some of the following:

  • Add 1/2 c. diced cucumber.
  • Dice very fine 1/4 c. each of carrot, celery and onion.  Cook until tender in a couple spoonfuls of olive oil.  Cool and stir into the salad in place of the scallions or shallots.*
  • Garnish with 1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese or feta.
  • Toast and crush 1/2 t. cumin seeds and add to the salad.  Substitute cilantro for the parsley.
  • Dice 1/4 c. flavorful sweet peppers, season with salt, and let stand to soften.  Stir in with the scallions or shallots.

I love that you can adapt this dish to what is in season and what is in your pantry.   I decided to use the mirepoix based version but I also added in some feta.   This salad fits nicely in our 2017 Challenge.


In March, I posted an inaugural Cookbook of the Month post.  My goal was to present at least one recipe per month to highlight one of my many cookbooks.   (I did great with this challenge, except I skipped May.)  🙁

There’s more stacked by the bed and in baskets around the living room.

One of my favorite pastimes used to be reading my cookbooks and making plans for recipes. Now the internet just makes it too easy to Google a recipe.  I vow to change that habit.

(For other cookbook reviews, including some more gifts from my sister, click here.)

I’m linking up this book review at June’s Foodie Reads

…and this salad at Deb’s Souper Sunday (Kahakai Kitchen).

What was the last recipe you cooked from a real, hard copy, old-fashioned cookbook?

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