French Lentil Salad

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Welcome to Claire's: 35 Years of Recipes and Reflections from the Landmark Vegetarian Restaurant

Welcome to Claire's

By Claire Criscuolo

Published 2014

  • About

French lentils are smaller and more round than the traditional disc-shaped “green” lentils, and they’re a dark green-black color. They have a strong and delicious lentil flavor. Like green lentils, they’re loaded with protein and contain respectable amounts of calcium and iron.


  • 4 quarts water
  • 12 ounces organic French lentils, sorted for stones, rinsed
  • Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • 1 small organic shallot, quartered
  • 2 cloves local organic garlic, cut in half
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh local organic tarragon
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups thinly sliced local organic Toscano kale


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot over high heat. Add the lentils and a little salt. Reduce the heat to low-medium, cover, and cook the lentils at a low-medium boil, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until just tender. Drain the lentils, then turn them onto a platter to cool while you prepare the dressing.
  2. Measure the olive oil into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the vinegar, lemon juice, shallot, and garlic. Strip the leaves of tarragon from the sprigs and add the leaves to the processor bowl. Discard the stems. Add a little sea salt and pepper. Cover and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Taste for seasonings.
  3. Turn the lentils into a bowl. Add the sliced kale. Using two wooden spoons, toss gently but thoroughly to combine ingredients. Add the dressing, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl of the contents. Toss again gently and thoroughly to combine. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature or chilled.