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French Green Lentil and Quinoa Salad

Fresh flavorful herbs, crunchy vegetables, and ample vegetarian protein, all tied together with a simple tangy olive oil and vinegar dressing, French green lentil and quinoa salad is one of those got-it-all salads we’d all be happy find on a potluck buffet. It’s also welcome atop crisp garden lettuce, when it’s hot out and you feel like having a big healthful salad for dinner!

French Green Lentil and Quinoa Salad vertical

The beautiful thing about this salad is it can be adapted to include whatever fresh herbs and vegetables are in season. I chose radishes and celery—you might want to include carrots, or cucumbers, or jicama in yours. When garlic scapes are blooming, either raw, grilled, or pan-sautéed, in they go.


The herbs of choice in today’s French green lentil and quinoa salad are parsley and tarragon. Half as much parsley as goes in tabbouleh, and enough fresh minced tarragon to lend subtle magical mystery, a je ne sais quoi, to this salad.

ingredients for French Green Lentil and Quinoa Salad

As tarragon rolls around on your tongue, you wonder, what flavor do I taste? Have to say, a year ago, I thought I didn’t care for the its pungent licorice-y notes. Since this salad, I’m sold. A girlfriend who grows it in her garden is a newbie too. She marveled over the unknown flavor, and was surprised to learn it was tarragon. Now she’s eager to cook with more of her prolific perennial!

If you follow my Instagram feed, you know that my gardening thumb is brown, certainly not green. Luckily, our neighbors, friends, and CSA weekly farm share take care of that problem. The rhubarb for last month’s seasonal recipe and the tarragon for this salad came from friends’ gardens. Grateful.

French Green Lentil and Quinoa Salad overhead

Here in the mountains, it’s chive season. Both fragrant green chive stems and their edible lavender flowers bring mild onion flavor to this salad. I snipped the chives from the neighbor across the street. 🙂

#Eat Seasonal:

This French green lentil and quinoa salad is part of June’s seasonal recipe roundup, orchestrated by our friend Becky from The Vintage Mixer blog.

collage for French Green Lentil and Quinoa Salad

For more recipes showcasing seasonal fruits and veggies, follow the links from other bloggers below. We hope our recipes encourage you to get in the kitchen and cook something delicious—and seasonal!

Rhubarb & Orange Frangipane Galette by Simple Bites

Roasted Strawberry Yogurt Pops by Completely Delicious

Greek Three Bean Salad by Flavor the Moments

Chunky Citrus Guacamole by Foodie Crush

Cherry-Rhubarb Pie Bars by Floating Kitchen

Strawberry Lime Chopped Salad by Vintage Mixer

Minty Sweet Pea Hummus by She Likes Food

Simply Strawberry Pie by Joy Food Sunshine

Cherry Rolls by Kitchen Confidante

Pimento Cheese Spread with Pickled Green Garlic, Radishes, and Rhubarb by Food for My Family

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French Green Lentil and Quinoa Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins

French green lentil and quinoa salad is one of those got-it-all salads we’d all be happy find on a potluck buffet. It’s also welcome atop crisp garden lettuce, when it’s hot out and you feel like having a big healthful salad for dinner! Makes 8 cups salad.

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 cups
Author: Letty | Letty's Kitchen
  • 1 cups French green lentils , rinsed and picked over
  • 1 cup rainbow quinoa
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed parsley leaves , finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed tarragon leaves , finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • ½ cup lightly toasted walnuts , coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives or green onions
  • Tiny florets separated from chive blossoms , optional
  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the lentils and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Lower the heat and simmer until tender but firm, about 20 minutes. Drain, place in a large bowl, stir in about a teaspoon of olive oil and set aside.
  2. Rinse the quinoa and drain in a fine-mesh sieve. (see note)
  3. In another saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups of water to a boil. Add rinsed quinoa and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and cook about 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl of cooked lentils.
  4. Mix the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over the lentils and quinoa. Stir in the parsley and tarragon. Add the celery, radishes, and chives, and toss again. Taste, add more salt if you think it’s needed. Chill in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld.
  5. Just before serving stir in the walnuts and chive blossoms, if using.
Recipe Notes

Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin that repels insects and birds and can create a bitter taste. Rinsing with warm water removes the saponin.

** This is an update of the lentil and quinoa salad from summer 2013. Back then I created recipes for my CSA and posted them on a blog called muffintalk. All those CSA recipes migrated over to here and I’m gradually updating them with photos. The original salad included garlic scapes, tarragon, summer savory, and chives from our weekly box.

French green lentil and quinoa salad with radishes, walnuts and fresh tarragon and parsley. Switch different vegetables and herbs to match the season.

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