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Black Lentil Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

When the thermometer outside climbs into the 80’s and beyond, dinner calls for main course salad with plenty of protein and a to-die-for vinaigrette.  This black lentil salad with curry vinaigrette fills the bill.

Green Salad with Beluga Black Lentils, Fresh Mozzarella, and Curry Vinaigrette

Our farm share box this week featured gorgeous salad greens and a nice assortment of other veggies. From that produce and a package of tiny black lentils, plus a round of fresh mozzarella cheese, this black lentil salad with curry vinaigrette came together for dinner.

When I started cooking more and more vegan meals, I switched to dressing the tofu instead of cheese in this curry vinaigrette. We love it both ways!

Meal prep: Cook the lentils ahead of time and this salad comes together in a jiffy. Start with mixed greens and whatever fresh veggies you have. Stir some of the savory curry vinaigrette into the lentils, and dress diced fresh mozzarella cheese or cubes of firm tofu the same for a colorful flavorful main course salad.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and make a main course salad for dinner!

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Green Salad with Beluga Black Lentils, Fresh Mozzarella, and Curry Vinaigrette

Green Salad with Beluga Black Lentils, Fresh Mozzarella, and Curry Vinaigrette

Yield: 5 servings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Take your beautiful composed salad directly to the table so everyone can feast their eyes first.  You can substitute tofu cubes for the mozzarella for a vegan salad. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


The lentils:

  • ¾ cup black beluga lentils
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon plus ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Curry vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • ¼ cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, , optional

Greens and goodies:

  • 4 ounces firm tofu or fresh mozzarella cheese,, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 5 ounces mixed baby salad greens
  • Carrots, jicama, avocado, or tomatoes,, as desired


Cook the lentils:

  1. Look over the lentils, sorting out any that don’t look right—rogue pieces of rock and such. Rinse, put in a saucepan, adding water to at least 2 inches above the lentils. Bring to a boil. Simmer until the lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Drain the lentils. Toss with the first 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the first ¼ teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper. Set aside.

Make the curry vinaigrette:

  1. Put the mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, and curry powder in a bowl. Anchor the bowl in a circle made from a damp towel. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the avocado oil. Add about 10 grinds of black pepper and the chives, if using.

Put the salad together:

  1. Mix a few tablespoons of the curry dressing into the reserved lentils. Marinate the tofu or fresh mozzarella in about 1/4 cup of the curry dressing.
  2. Choose a pretty salad bowl. Mound the mixed greens in the bowl, tearing them into fork-size pieces if they are large leaves. Arrange the vegetables in concentric rings over the lettuce. In the center, pile the curry-dressed lentils.
  3. Drain the tofu or mozzarella cubes and spoon the curried cubes on top of the lentils.
  4. Serve extra vinaigrette on the side.


  • For vegans: Substitute cubes of fresh extra firm tofu for the mozzarella.
  • Use any assortment of vegetables—including as snow peas, cherry tomatoes, blanched haricots verts. It's the cook’s choice according to what’s in the fridge.
  • Substitute more olive oil or walnut oil for the avocado oil.

1 comment

  • It was such a sweet visit, minus the tainted frozen berries! Thanks for the delicious dinner you made us. Reply · 12 June, 2013

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