Lentil and Walnut Salad

Preparation info

  • 6 to 8

    portions as a first course
    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Silver Palate Cookbook

By Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins

Published 1982

  • About

A good lentil salad makes an excellent first course, and this is one of the best we have ever tasted.


  • 2½ cups dried lentils
  • 3 carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled
  • 3 cloves
  • 1½ quarts Chicken Stock or canned chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ cup walnut oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup thinly sliced well-rinsed scallions (green onions), with green tops
  • 1 cup shelled walnut halves
  • Chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, for garnish


    1. Rinse the lentils and sort through them carefully, discarding any pebbles you may find.
    2. Transfer the lentils to a large pot and add the carrots, the onion stuck with the cloves, chicken stock, bay leaf, and thyme. Set over moderate heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, skim any foam that may appear, cover, and cook until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape, about 25 minutes (lentil cooking time varies widely). Do not overcook.
    3. While the lentils are cooking, combine the vinegar, garlic, and walnut oil in a blender or a food processor, and process until smooth and creamy.
    4. When the lentils are done, drain them, discard the carrots, onion, cloves, and bay leaf, and pour the lentils into a mixing bowl. Rewhisk the dressing and pour it over the still-hot lentils. Toss gently, season generously with salt and pepper, and let the salad cool to room temperature. Toss again, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
    5. Just before serving, add the scallions and walnuts. Add an additional tablespoon or two of vinegar or walnut oil if you like, and toss gently. Sprinkle heavily with the chopped parsley and serve, accompanied by a peppermill.