warm-lentil-and-potato-salad Recipes

warm lentil and potato salad

You don’t have to look at me like that. I know, I know how you and most people feel about lentils. About how they’re mealy and brown and generally lackluster, like health food putty; about how you’ll eat them, sure, but only if you must. And how if I were trying to convince you that lentils are something that you will very much love if only you could try them this way, my way, that this yellow-and-muddy-purple-brown speckled thing up top, despite the ambitious efforts of the bright green parsley chop scattered over it, is not going to be the thing to pull it off.

what you'll need
lentils cooking with bay, thyme and shallot

But I wish it would. This warm lentil salad is a perfect mid-winter everything — a gorgeous pack-for-work lunch to keep you on this side of your Resolution karma, a perfect side dish to a roast, chops or sausage, and my new favorite thing to break a softly-cooked egg over. The creamy golden potatoes nestle among the perfect discs of thyme-scented lentils and the entire salad zings with finely chopped cornichon, capers and minced shallot that’s been lightly pickled in red wine vinegar, and a good grassy/fruity olive oil. It lightly crunches when you take a bite.

cornichon

pickled capers
shallots in red wine vinegar
ugly food tastes better
golden fingerlings, drained
cooked lentils
flat-leaf parsley

It’s secret, and what I feel is the secret of all great lentil salads, is in the lentils themselves: they’re tiny. If you’ve thus far eaten only mushy lentil salads, I dare say you’ve been using the wrong ones. While the falling-apart varieties have their uses (soups, patties, stews and dals), when it comes to salad, most of the tiny varieties — and especially dark green lentils de puy, greenish-brown lenticchie, even black lentils — stay intact, maintaining their namesake lens shape even when cooked until tender. If tapioca pearls are the caviar of the pudding world, these are unquestionably the caviar of the salad universe. And if the prospect of eating caviar salad for lunch this week doesn’t charm you, well, you’re probably not married to a Russian I think this one could convert you.

warm lentil and potato salad

New thing: As promised in last week’s chat, there’s finally a vegan category on this site. It’s only about half-populated; if you have a favorite recipe on the site that’s also vegan, please holler if I’ve missed it. (FWIW, I tend to skip salads for this and the vegetarian category, as most just are.) [Vegan Recipes on Smitten Kitchen] [Vegetarian Recipes on Smitten Kitchen]

One year ago: Intensely Chocolate Sables
Two years ago: Potato Chip Cookies
Three years ago: Chocolate-Peanut Spread (Peanutella)
Four years ago: Intensely Almond Cake + Cranberry Syrup
Five years ago: Clementine Cake and Mushroom Bourguignon
Six years ago: Chicken Caesar Salad and Fried Chicken
Seven years ago: Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad with a Garlicky Mustard Vinaigrette
Adapted from a few David Tanis recipes

If you can find tiny dark green French lentilles de Puy or Italian lenticcie Castelluccio, you’ll be glad you did; they’re minerally, nutty and not starchy at all — nothing like your average “for your health!” lentil mush soup. I tend to grab two bags or boxes whenever I find them, and keep them in the coolest, darkest place I can find in my steam-heated sauna of an apartment. I’ve also ordered the French lentils online before from here, though I actually brought these inexpensive lentils — and the capers and olive oil, used here — back from Castroni, the greatest food store in Rome, last summer.

Before you ask, Can you put kale in this too? Of course you can.

Makes 4 lunch servings, 6 servings as a side dish

2 large shallots, 1 halved, 1 finely diced,
4 sprigs of thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 cup dry small green lentils (see Note up top for varieties)
1 small bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1 pound fingerling potatoes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced or smashed to a paste (I use less)
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of your favorite olive oil
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed if salted, drained if brined, and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cornichons or other sour gherkins, roughly chopped
1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Cook lentils: Pick over and rinse lentils. Place them in a small/medium saucepan with the halved shallot, thyme branches, bay leaf, some salt and 4 cups of water. Simmer the lentils over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain (discarding shallot, thyme and bay leaf) and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook potatoes: In a separate saucepan, cover potatoes with 1 to 2 inches cold water. Set timer for 15 minutes, then bring potatoes to a simmer. When the timer rings, they should be easily pierced with a toothpick or knife. Drain and keep warm.

Make the dressing: Place the chopped shallot and red wine vinegar in the bottom of a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in minced garlic, dijon, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and olive oil. Stir in chopped capers, cornichon and scallions.

Assemble salad: Slice potatoes into 1/2-inch segments and place in serving bowl. Add lentils, dressing and all but 1 tablespoon parsley and combine. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Scatter salad with remaining parsley.

Serve alone, with a soft-cooked egg on top, or as a side to a larger roast, chop or sausages. Reheat as needed. If you plan to make this at the outset of several meals and would like to eat it warm, I’d keep the dressing separate, warming only the lentils and potatoes and stirring in the cold dressing to taste.

Keeps in fridge for up to 5 days.

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231 comments on warm lentil and potato salad

  1. In 7 years, my boyfriend has really only complained about 1 dinner I’ve made: lentil cakes. I love lentils, he hates them. I think this salad might help him come over to the lentil-loving side. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Well seeing how I love every other ingredient I am definitely willing to give lentils a try this way. Ps- Thank you for always mentioning which recipes taste great with an egg on it. It is good to know my penchant for adding fried/poached eggs to non-breakfast dishes is shared by others :)

  3. Have you noticed a difference between the capers you bought in Rome and our lowly capers sold here in America? I think most capers are imported, but now I’m curious.

    1. Molly — These are wonderful, and they probably are “better” but they don’t taste immensely different to me. I actually bought them by accident. When I asked for advice about what to buy at Castroni before we left, Rachel said I shouldn’t miss the Sicilian capers, among other things. However, my 3 year-old was insanely overtired and hangry and I ended up doing the most harried shopping trip, ever (I basically swept every shelf into my shopping basket and miraculously only spent $100!) and didn’t get the capers I’d intended to. How’s that for a typically long story? :)

  4. haha! this smells strongly of what we, russians, often call “winter salads”. love it! the pickles and potatoes are a dead giveaway :) one of my favorite combinations is potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, and pickles.
    will be making this bad boy for dinner TONIGHT!!

  5. Sounds great, a low calorie lunch!
    I wonder of the shallot you use to cook the lentils with is als useable in the salad, or should I use a fresh one?

  6. Wow! I am currently eating a warm lentil and sweet potato salad with a maple-mustard vinaigrette, and it’s so homey and comforting. I will definitely give yours a try when this big batch (that I also prepped just for lunches!) runs out! Love the ideas of a bit of crunch/bite with the capers and cornichons.

  7. Ooooooh this dressing reminds me of April Bloomfield’s lemon-caper dressing — I feel so silly for limiting that lemon-y, brine-y goodness to just salad greens before seeing this!

  8. I am not one of those anti lentil people, this looks simply amazing. And how could you not love any salad with chopped gherkins, red onion AND capers on top?!

  9. I am French. So this salad looks yummy (I love love love lentils, all of them).
    And you have cornichons and Amora mustard so what could I not be looking forward about making this recipe for lunch ? :D

  10. I was looking at the ingredient list thinking “if there was egg and tarragon, it would be my very favorite, gribiche” and your comment about gribiche popped up. How serendipitous. I also now have a vision of a pickled shallot gribiche that must be made (as though there aren’t already enough pickled things in it).

  11. You mention in the first paragraph that “the entire salad zings with lemon juice” but I must be missing it as I don’t see you mention it in the ingredients/directions. Otherwise, it sounds like awesome comfort food!

  12. Nice! You just helped me to know the English name of my favorite potatoes :)
    My father grows that king of potatoes in Spain, but we call them “punta”. These are the most delicious for salads when they are “new” (I hope you know what I mean…).

    Do you think I can try this salad using “pardina” lentils?

    Love the recipe!

  13. Since I have most of these ingredients on hand (and can substitute for the ones I don’t) I am going to make this right now. Something about being stuck inside on snow days that drives me to hole up in the kitchen.

  14. Oh how I love lentils! But…
    And it’s a BIG but!
    Lentils always tasted like mushy dirt until I tried Trader Joes Steamed Lentils (in the produce section). They are SO excellent! I’m hoping your recipe will taste like TJ’s tasty nuggets!

  15. Love your blog and book- longtime reader and first time commenter! I just made your lentil and chickpea salad this weekend (which was fabulous) and I have leftover sage. Do you think that would be a good substitute for the thyme or bay leaf in this recipe to make the lentils with?

    1. Vidya — Yes. It’s mostly about flavoring the water. (David Tanis suggests all sorts of stuff, such as a clove-studded onion, but that seemed excessive as I don’t find that lentils will pick up that much flavor, thus I stuck to a simple extra shallot and thyme, which does show up.)

      Steph — Thanks. Will put it on the list!

      Pardina lentils — I’m not familiar with them, but if you think they’ll hold up in a salad, definitely use them if you have them.

      Liz L — Uh, whoops. Why did I forget that there was no lemon juice in this? Now fixed. (However, if you’d like it here, and I think it would be wonderful, use 1 tablespoon in addition to the red wine vinegar.)

  16. I can’t say that this TOTALLY convinced me to eat some lentils, but it definitely helped sway me, that’s for sure! I love warm potato salads though and this is worth trying!

  17. I second Liz L’s question about the lemon juice. Is it just that the capers, cornichons and vinegar give that impression? Or is it missing from the recipe?

    Also, would there be harm in cooking the potatoes and lentils in the same pot if I were to be able to time the addition of the potatoes so that they both come out the proper tenderness? I am a huge fan of using the least number of cooking pots as possible until such time that my kids are old enough to do all the dishes for me.

  18. You don’t have to convince me to eat some lentils at all. I love them! This dish looks delicious. Lentils in a potato salad? For me it’s a must-try! :-)

  19. Curried lentils + brown rice + peas is one of my favorite comfort foods. I’d think something was wrong with me except my other favorite comfort foods are mashed potatoes and baked asiago macaroni and cheese.

  20. In your comment you said when you were in Rome Jacob was “hangry” .. probably a typo but it could be a cute new word, combo of Hungry and Angry!!

  21. The best thing about this recipe is that I have almost all the ingredients on hand right now. I think that’s a sign. Now if I could only have confidence that my two littles will be happy about me muddying up their beloved potatoes with lentils. ;)

  22. I love lentils! Especially looking really closely at a handful of the dark green ones–did you know they’re actually black and green speckles and swirls? They look like tiny Jupiters, it’s so cool.

    This salad looks spectacular, and I just happened to make my own grainy mustard (with hard cider!) last week that’s just begging to be used in a vinaigrette. This is next on my list once I get through the soup I have stashed for lunches this week.

  23. I’m usually alone in saying this, but I detest mustard. I was wondering if you have any other recommendations for what to use in the dressing? I have dried mustard powder, but no horseradish. It looks really delicious.

  24. Those French lentils really are key for people that “don’t like lentils.” My local grocer carries them, but I have ordered them from Amazon in the past. Well worth seeking a source. HUGE difference between the Puy lentils and the mushy brown flat ones.

  25. I love lentils! Especially with herbs, vinegar (or lemon juice), and mustard… It’s never once occurred to me to dice and add pickles to a lentil salad, though! That is genius. And with a soft-boiled egg, the whole thing would be heaven.

    (It’s really too bad that it’s so hard to find lentils de puy or black lentils in most grocery stores!)

  26. I was never a lentil fan, but your version of the lentil and butternut squash salad is one of the things that converted me to the awesomeness of de Puy! Can’t wait to try this!

  27. Well, I for one love lentils, especially in full-meal salads like this! We definitely go for puy if at all possible, but I’d love to try some of the other ones you listed too. I would serve a big scoop of this on top of a plate of chopped romaine for a delicious lunch any day!

  28. Thank you, thank you, thank you for including a Vegan category! I recently am doing vegan 3x a week and I’ve been a long-time visitor to your site. This new category definitely makes it easier for me to find ideas. And this recipe? Next on my list.

  29. Sounds great, but…I loathe capers and my son won’t eat cornichons. Would dill pickle work? Other substitute suggestions welcomed!

    1. Joan — You can definitely try dill pickle here, instead. Also, this is really random, but my husband picked up pickled green beans this weekend and think they’d be nice sliced in here to give you that acidic bite you might otherwise miss from the conichons or capers.

      Ada — Thank you. I’d forgotten about that one and agree, it’s unassumingly delicious.

  30. I made this for lunch and it was really well received. I didn’t have any cornichons so I replaced them with extra capers, and replaced the shallot with leek since it’s what I had on hand. It still felt like it was missing a little something, so I threw in about 2 tablespoons of sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. We ate it with runny fried eggs on top. It was a good, solid, basic meal, but nothing spectacular. A good weekday lunch.

  31. I have never had lentils but bought some red ones recently to give them a try. Is it worth a shot to make this recipe with the red ones or should I really get myself on to Amazon prime for the french ones?

    Also, Deb, have you ever had enchiladas with a egg on top?

  32. Is there a missing word in the 2nd para, 2nd sentence? “a gorgeous pack-for-work lunch to keep you on this side of ,” — I have to know what it will keep me on this side of! Looks delicious, and I will probably be packing this for lunch. :)

  33. This looks really good – I’m a big fan of your cranberry bean salad too! Is the 1 cup of lentils dry or cooked – it doesn’t specify. A whole cup of dried lentils makes a lot!

    If its cooked, how much is that dry to start with?

    1. Kath — Oops, it’s uncooked, will edit, thanks. Will make at least 2 cups, possibly 3, once cooked.

      Alyssa — Ha! I can’t believe you’re the first to notice. (And I remember thinking when I was on line at a store this afternoon, wait, did I ever finish that sentence? Not that I remembered this when I got home.) Now fixed, thanks.

      Heather — My husband would say caviar, mostly just caviar. But I’ll get thinking on something more budget-oriented.

  34. You are preaching to the choir here: I am preparing lentils & spätzle as I’m reading this. But the salad goes onto the list for the weekend!

  35. Ohhhh, I love lentils and potatoes, I am so going to make this. My family is already tired of my lentil love, and in California it’s warm and sunny, not really lentil weather …

  36. Nothing to say about lentils, but that third picture, of the uncooked pot of ingredients, is STUNNING. Looks like the onions and herbs are suspended in air.

  37. Love lentils — especially in mjeddrah. Not crazy about capers — except fried, when they open up like crunchy brown flowers. Will definitely try this salad though!

  38. This was fantastic! And easy. French green lentils are the end-all-be-all of lentils in my opinion. So buttery! I like the potato cooking method–I’d never heard of that before. Had it on its own with a little wilted chard mixed in for dinner, and my fiancé went nuts for the pickle-y acid-y thing going on (as did I). Can’t wait to have this w a runny-yolk egg or roast chicken. Or steak. Or sausage. Thank you!

  39. i rushed to Whole Foods today for the green lentils and fingerling potatoes but alas the potatoes were not available…so I picked up a bag of tiny new potatoes and the salad was still delicious! And there are so many possible variations that this will be a staple…found pickled asparagus spears that would be wonderful in it. Thanks for another hit!!!

  40. I love lentils! Probably my favorite legume, so I’m surprised to learn there’s so much lentil hate. But this salad! It’s one of those recipes that just sounds so right, and you wonder, “why didn’t I think of that.”

  41. I do a puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables and creme fraiche. I cook the lentils like you do above, and then combine with roasted vegetables like peppers, sweet potatoes, onions, whatever you like. It’s delicious.

  42. I’m allergic to lentils. What can i substitute?

    By the way, I mentioned you in my blog designed to help people learn their way around the grand Internet.

  43. In response to Alyssa on Russian snacks (I’m living in the FSU these days)- there’s a whole category of food to be eaten with beer- закуски к пиву- ranging from black bread fried in oil and garlic to smoked or salted fish with onion and pickled mushrooms. Google it and you’ll find some interesting ideas.

    1. Jo — Skip it or use a few leaves of another herb you might like (sage, rosemary, etc.)

      barbara — Can you eat beans? If so, find a small one and use it instead.

      Annie — Ooh, I hope it didn’t sound rude. Basically, it’s in my head now enough that I was thinking on my own that the only way to make this more of a fully nutritious lunch would be to add some greens. I’ve been converted by the kale lobby. :)

  44. I love lentils, I really do. Sometimes I feel like I’m alone on this one – well more like there’s two of us, myself and the lentils.
    People are often giving me weird looks when I order lentil soup at Hale & Hearty, like I’m settling for lentils instead of ordering chicken pot pie for health reasons or something. So.Not.True.
    Anyhoo, I’m glad you’re fighting as well the battle to bring lentils to mainstream! ;)

  45. Made this tonight. Unfortunately we murdered the lentils a little (they went from not cooked at all, to overcooked very quickly or so it seemed), but it was still quite delicious. Highly recommended.

  46. You’re right, even if I’m Italian and lentils are kind of a staple during winter months here in my country, I’ve never been a big fan of them…But, let me just say, I may be already converted after having seen that amazing and super delicious-looking bowl!
    Can’t wait to give them a go :)

    xo, Elisa

  47. I don’t know if it is lentil hate so much as lentil ignorance. Reading the comments I flashed back to when we moved into our first house (in 1979). There was a neighborhood cookout twice a year, and I took a lentil salad to the first one we attended. It sat there among the potato salads and baked beans and I heard people whispering “What is THAT?”

  48. I make a potato-less version of this all the time from a Melissa Clark recipe. My trick is that Trader Joe’s sells cooked lentils in the refrigerated section and they are perfect for this salad. Just a shortcut if you aren’t into cooking all the way from scratch….

  49. Lentils are actually one of my favorite things (not just foods). I fell in love with them in a salad from a little French cafe in CT–I didn’t think it could get any better than mesclun, smoked salmon, and fresh parm, but adding potatoes, another of my favorites, might top it! I’ll be finding out soon.

  50. Such a wonderful idea! I always try to keep lentils in my pantry and happen to have several types of poatoes from our winter farmers market. I’m going to roast the fingerlings and make the salad that way…also with no cornichons. I’ll let you know how it works out. You are such an inspiration for me!

  51. You must have heard me through the universe, because all I was craving through this snowstorm, rather than chili or stew as per usual, were lentils, potatoes, and so many cornichons. I’ve been eating them separately by the bowl (including the cornichons!) but this… this, I guess, is meant to be. Thanks for the dinner idea!

  52. I happen to really like lentils. Not sure why I don’t make them more often. Now I have this great recipe to remind me to eat my lentils. Ha I love a little crunch, too, and your addition of potatoes make it a little more filling. I could eat this as a meal, but may have to cook some meat on the side for the hubby.

  53. I cant wait to bring these to my family’s next lentil cook-off. (Yes – a whole party devoted to this clan’s favorite legume!)

  54. I’m really not a fan of lentils – any kind. But ok, I trust you, Deb, and I will make this. I’ll let you know how it goes.
    You always surprise me with your recipes and then I’m even more surprised that I actually make them at home. Thank you so much!

  55. Meant to ask, why do you cook your lentils in so much liquid? I would think you drain away flavor as opposed to using a 2:1 ratio?

  56. I wanted to amend my above review…. the day I made this I thought it was good but not great. Letting it sit in the fridge overnight, though, took it to a whole new level. The flavors melded and really came together in an amazing way. I HIGHLY recommend making this the day before you want to eat it.

  57. Lentils and pickles are both on my top 10 favorite foods list, so this recipe could not be more up my alley!

    Anywhere specific in NYC area that you recommend looking for French lentilles de Puy or Italian lenticcie Castelluccio?

    Thanks!

    1. Weekend Tea — Sadly, I’m hoping to have a few suggestions soon. I know they exist in this great big city of ours, but the French green lentils I bought at Whole Foods weren’t right, and Buon Italia in Chelsea Market (my go-to for Italian ingredients) didn’t have lentils last time I was there, and doesn’t seem to sell them through their website. No dice either with Murray’s (which has a decent selection of dry goods), Kalustyans (loads of lentils, no lentils du Puy). I haven’t checked Dean & Deluca or Fairway. Sahadis either, but boy am I overdue for a trip. I’ve ordered them online from this store, which is located in NYC, to my frustration, but they are only online, no storefront. The best ones, the ones worth tracking down, will say “A.O.C.” on them, so you know that they are authentically lentils du Puy.

  58. I LOVE your cookbook. And now your blog. I got the book and immediately made the mushroom tart, the caramelized onion & butternut squash tart , and the broccoli slaw for New Year’s Day brunch. My husband loved the slaw so
    Much he went and bought the ingredients and made a batch himself. I justade the grapefruit olive oil pound cake -twice- due to demand. And everything looks just like the photographs in the book. Which Never happens. I’m so glad you are NYC based, as am I, not because one must be, but because I know you are somehow near, creating these gorgeous wonderful things. I look forward to attempting everything on the book. Thanks again!

  59. I think I bought a monster sized shallot and used waaaaayyy to much in the dressing. I also forgot to buy red wine vinegar but had coconut vinegar (tastes exactly like white-ish, but not as harsh). Maybe that didn’t pickle the shallots enough. I’ll definitely do it with red wine next time and throw in less shallots. It does taste less onion-y now that it’s been in the fridge overnight though.

  60. As always it looks and sounds wonderful – small edit the Bay Leaf is listed twice in the ingredients list. Thanks for keeping us inspired:)

  61. I don’t normally post on blogs but I have to say, you really do have an amazing blog/website. Your photos easily make one salivate, your humor makes one chuckle and your sense of humor is warm and witty. I’ve been inspired by many of your recipes…some of them, spins on others – many of your own imagination. This looks both healthy, easy and delicious. Now to hunt for something other than grocery store bagged lentils!

  62. Oops……………said you have a great sense of humor twice (guess that means you really do!). What I meant to say is that your sense of taste and adventure inspire me! :)

  63. Sure. OK. I respect this post and all the lentil love. Sure.

    If I may, though, I’ll remind you that at the turn of the year you mentioned something about possibly cheesecake. As you eat your lentils, I just want to keep that cheesecake thought simmering in the back of your mind. I mean, it’s not like I check your site frequently in hopes of you talking cheesecake. No, no. Not me.

    I mean, lentils. Sure.

    1. Erica — February. February is for chocolate and the inevitable springing back of caloric intake after a month of Resolving. January is for earnestness — soups, salads, light desserts. :)

  64. All this talk of lentils has got me thinking about mujaddara. Any chance you want to make us an over the top version of that soon? Pleassse?

  65. Woo! I love that you added the vegan category. As a vegan who loves your blog and photography, Ive always appreciated that you seem to just want to do the vegetable (or legume in this case) justice. Im a new blogger but have read your posts for quite some time and am really inspired by your photographs and recipes! I really hope to improve on my photography skills!

  66. I love the tiny little dark green/blue French lentils. They work really well in this recipe. I’ve also had great outcome trading in the parsley for cilantro.

  67. Who are these lentil-hating folks? I guess my West Coast crunchy granola past kept me sheltered from this reality. This recipe is the cure for any haters, however. Can’t wait to try it.

  68. Didn’t want to venture outside for groceries on this minus zero with windchill day in NYC and this was perfect! Didn’t have the cornichons, thyme, or parsley on hand, and had red potatoes instead of fingerlings, but this salad was still super-delicious.
    Will definitely make it again.

  69. I made this last night (as promised in the above comment), substituting yams that needed to be used and horse gram (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_gram) a crazy new legume I picked up at the Indian market this weekend. It was delicious and a bit heartier/nuttier than I imagine the original recipe would have been. A big hit at my weekly potluck. THANKS!!

  70. I made this tonight as I miraculously had everything in my fridge! I added arugula upon your suggestion of kale and topped it off with the poached egg. We loved it!!

  71. In the middle of making this tonight I realised I didn’t have quite all the ingredients – I used white wine vinegar, half a small onion, & no cornichons or scallions – but it was utterly delicious anyway! I served it with some parma ham which went really well.
    Deb, I love your site & book & it has helped make me a much more confident cook, thank you!

  72. I am very into this salad and all these great flavors. I am already a fan of the health-food side of lentils so maybe I’m just an easy sell. My jaw dropped, however, at your need to add the line “yes, you can add kale”…the fact you are asked that enough to put in a disclaimer makes me giggle :)

  73. You had me at the name of the dish, I cheered as I knew this would be a good
    recipe, then you REALLY had me at the picture of the cornichons, because at that
    moment I just knew exactly how good it will taste, Cant wait to make it Methinks I will have it with bratwurst…which begs a nice beveage! Thanks, Deb, for another
    treasure!

  74. Can’t say I’m a fan of lentils (in fact, rather detest them after many forced “Lentil Soup” dinners growing up), but if anyone’s recipe was going to make me a convert it would be yours.

    Perhaps when I return to Paris and need to lose all the cheese and foie gras and bordeaux weight I’ll give this a try.

    Or perhaps…I should just stick with the French diet..lol!

    :-)

  75. I made this last night, I couldn’t find lentils, so I just made the potato salad and draped some smoked salmon over it. Absolutely Frikken Delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

  76. The serving bowl you used is beautiful! Mind me asking where it’s from? recipe looks awesome as well, Ill be trying it with some fingerling sweet potatoes!

  77. Thank you so much for adding a vegan category. I am a long time SK fan and a vegan for only two years. I am always on the hunt for great new recipes.

  78. Hey Deb,

    Just made this last night for dinner and it was amazing. I didn’t have the French lentils so I just used regular green ones and slightly undercooked them so they were tender but not mushy, and it turned out fantastic! I also made the parmesan rind soup as a starter and it was a big hit!

    Keep up the great work!

  79. My family heritage is French, therefore, I’ve grown up on lentils and I use them in salads, as a side dish, with sausage in soups and once a horribly failed red lentil and curry goop which I will heretofore never mention again. Bravo – this looks great!

  80. For Deb, Weekend Tea, and any other NYC-bound lentil seekers — Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg sells lentils du Puy in one-pound bags! Their stock varies so I would call before getting on the L, but I found them there a week or two ago with no problems.

    1. nzle — Thank you. Love the store. Curious if they’re AOC. I mean, for AOC I will get there tomorrow. :) (Why do they always feel SO FAR from the L? I mean, they’re not, but it’s cooooold. Also, why did nobody tell me they’d opened a shop in Hell’s Kitchen? Not actually more convenient, but still!)

      Christi — Thanks. Wheelthrown Ceramics 101 from my freshman year in college. :)

  81. Yum! I emailed this to my husband (who only has basic cooking skills), and he made it for dinner. Used baby red potatoes (added a nice bit of color), gherkins, and plain yellow mustard but otherwise followed the recipe. I am thinking next time we might add just a hint of turmeric or curry powder. So good to have warm, comforting, and healthy recipes on hand this time of year!

  82. i made this last night and it was ok. like elysse above, it was significantly tastier today. if i make it again though, i’ll probably add more cornichons and capers and dijon and garlic — all the flavourful stuff.

  83. I made this salad last night to accompany a pair of petit fillets – it was warm, comforting, bright and delicious. Just perfect to chase away the frigid Texas ice storm that had us house bound all day! Thanks Deb.

  84. Made this two night ago and was SO SURPRISED! I initially made it because 1) I had most everything in my pantry/fridge and 2) I would just Deb with every single taste bud in my mouth, so I went for it. AND OH. MY. GOSH. Delicious. Seriously, the flavors went so well together. I did everything as the recipe said, but I also added in sausage and kale (I baked the kale to add some crispy texture to the dish). Viola! Awesome dinner and even better lunch the next day. Thanks again DEB!

  85. Wow! I just made it and this was so tasty. I’m not a big fan of lentils but combined with the dressing and potatoes, it was amazing. I was able to get the small green lentils from a middle eastern grocery store. Thank you for sharing.

  86. I made this tonight and it was perfect! However instead of thyme I used a few slices of ginger, cilantro instead of parsley and pickled green beans (from a friends yearly pickling extravaganza) instead of the caper & cornichcon duo. I posted it on my Facebook page with full credit to you of course….this is such a simple and easy recipe and I can’t wait to see how it tastes cold!

  87. Hi Deb-

    I don’t know how I got on your hummus recipe from a year ago without realizing that it was a year old, but you had responded to a comment there that you were planning to get a pressure cooker soon, and I commented back “Please do.” But that was last year–did you get one in the end? I hope so, or hope that you still plan to, as I’m a longtime reader and would love some SK recipes for the pressure cooker.

    1. Jean — I didn’t! It’s so silly. I should. I think a week or so later, I did a radio show with Melissa Clark and I asked her about pressure cookers, if she liked them, and she said she’d been testing a few out and found they cooked really unevenly and it got stuck in my head and I become hesitant to invest in one. Have you found any problems with uneven cooking?

  88. Deb,

    It’s the weekend between my birthday and my husbands so our kids came home from college. We are snow bound here and when I saw this recipe I knew it would be my birthday dinner along with Ina Garten’s lemon cake. There is no going to the grocery right now so I used the cup and a half of split green peas in place of lentils and the rest of the yukon gold potatoes. Sadly I am out of capers, which never happens so I chopped up green olives. I also used balsamic vinegar instead of red wine. It made so much I thought I would send leftovers home with college kids, but no such luck. It was delicious and we licked the bowl clean. It’s definitely on the make again list.

  89. Thanks for the vegan section! I will still love tweaking the other recipes but it’s nice to have one spot to go to for quick recipes.

  90. This was delicious! And my kids ate it! I used Kroger’s organic brand of green lentils, which are sourced from France, and they were fantastic. Deb, I read some of the comments about lemon juice and still don’t see it in the recipe. However, I thought it tasted fine without it. Btw, we eat lots of vegan food and one of my favorites from your site is butternut squash and chickpea salad. We serve it over rice and it makes a filling meal.

  91. I added kale too — why not? With lots of parsley as well, it gets nice and green. I used Goya pigeon peas because I couldn’t find the nice don’t-fall-apart lentils, but these beans held together perfectly and tasted great. Also, chopped red potato.
    As people who enjoy cooking, we know we don’t need to have “permission” to make adjustments to recipes and I don’t think any of the above changes are revolutionary, but I myself like reading the variations in the comments so I thought I’d add on!

  92. The head note re: kale was funny (not rude!) to me. I am a follower of your kale evolution (even heard you tell of it on an NPR show — I think All Things Considered?). The note reminded me of that evolution, and I also realized that you really ARE aware of your readers’ idiosyncratic food attachments. (We appreciate it.)

  93. We LOVED this! I didn’t have cornichons, so I used sweet & spicy pickles and it was delicious. Also want to thank you for adding the vegan category.

  94. Made this tonight with red fingerlings and it was *perfect!* My carnivore partner loved it, and i made extra dressing so it would be super flavorful!

  95. I did not need convincing about the lentils, since I love them and just wrote an ode (well, if you consider Dr. Seuss poetry like I do) to them a couple of weeks ago. What I am totally excited about it the dressing you used with them: capers, cornichons, shallots, mustard, garlic… wowza! I know what I will be making real soon. Thanks Deb!

  96. i just found your cookbook on the new book shelf at my library and absolutely love it (will definitely go out and buy a copy). I am so excited to discover you and your blog. Thank you!…..p.s. your son is adorable!

  97. Tried it, and it was fantastic (even though i didn’t have any fresh coriander). One substitute – i used pickled carrots I had instead of the pickles…worked perfectly and the added colour was nice too. Very yummy recipe

  98. Deb, I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing, thank you! I’ve made plenty of potato, herb and vinaigrette salads but the addition of lentils and your dressing were such a treat!

  99. I made this with the roasted fingerlings and it was delish! But probably not worthwhile to bother roasting because the potatoes lose their crunch in the salad anyway. Thanks for the inspiration.

  100. That’s good to know, Katherine, about the roasted potatoes losing their crunch. I made it this week and thought I would try roasting the potatoes next time. Something about the boiled potatoes just didn’t work for me. Next time for the potatoes I’ll try a shorter cooking time or smaller slices instead of roasting. I loved the vinaigrette and would double it if you’re a vinaigrette fan. The dish definitely got better with time! I could see this being a lovely make-ahead picnic dish to be served at room temperature.

  101. I just made my first batch of this for lunch, with the intention of eating the leftovers this week. It’s taking everything I’ve got not to go eat tomorrow’s lunch as well.

    Another delicious recipe. Thank you, Deb.

  102. Seriously delicious. Opted for steaming red-skinned fingerlings and didn’t have any parsley, so skipped it. DEFINITELY making this again!

  103. I made this last week. It is really good. I am gluten free and vegan so I was super excited to try a recipe that need ZERO modifications! I even made this easier on myself and bought steamed lentils from the Trader Joe’s refrigerator case – I highly recommend doing this because it means less work for you and perfectly cooked french lentils.

  104. This was the perfect cold day dish- yummy, warm, and filling… My baby, three year old, and husband (who “doesn’t love lentils”) all thought it was great too! Thanks!

  105. This salad was wonderful and beautiful. I used purple fingerling potatoes and the color contrast was just lovely. Also, I was unable to find a sour gherkin so used a spicy dill pickle, McClures for those who are lucky enough to have come across them. The spicy of the pickle, salty of the caper, and creamy potatoes and lentils is simply heavenly. I can’t wait to make this for a crowd. Once again, God bless you Deb Perelman!

  106. This accompanied a pan-seared ribeye for dinner tonight and it was fabulous! I am looking forward to eating it for lunch all week. This salad and the lentil/sausage/chard soup have converted me to a lentil lover, thank you!

  107. I’ve made this twice now. The first time, I kept the sauce separate; reheated the potato-lentil mixture and added cold sauce. The second time I just mixed it all together and reheated the mixed-up leftovers.

    I think I actually preferred method #2. Tasted fine to me, and I didn’t have to obsess about the right sauce to salad to ratio with each serving. :)

  108. Just made this and it’s delicious! Perfect notes of mustard, vinegar, capers and pickles. I think this will be great topped with a soft boiled egg and served with garlic bread. Thanks! :)

  109. Just had this for dinner and it’s wonderful! We had it with pan-fried fish. I used brown lentils as that’s what I had in the cupboard, but they were fine. Thanks :-)

  110. Made this last night – great! Subbed some rough chopped yukon golds & homemade green tomato relish, which worked perfectly with a poached egg on top.

  111. Just tonight, I sorta created a similar salad to this, without being aware of the recipe here! Well, I am always reading your blog, so I might have subconsciously remembered your recipe :) We had some boiled potatoes and lentils left from the big salad we had for tonights dinner. So I just threw them together, added some pimped dressing and hope it s gonna be tasty enough for tomorrows lunch :) But since the green looks very nice on top, I am going to add some chopped parsley as well tomorrow. The shallots look like a very good addition, but I am a bit wary of the smell afterwards… so, minus the shallots for me :)

    And I love lentils (nicely cooked with some onions and some red wine) put over a basic green salad. Just a bit, but I find it gives depth to a simple salad. And makes it more filling.

  112. I always look for new recipes and salads and here I learnt to make the delicious one. This is wonderful, fresh and high energetic. I loved the warm lentils with boiled potatoes.

  113. This is one of the most well-timed recipes I’ve ever made. I just start cooking, and follow the steps, and it’s done. There are no weird pauses, or wait times, and the exact time Deb allows to chop — I can do it.

    It’s already become a lunch staple.

  114. I just made this recipe for, like, the 5th time and it is sooooo good. No need to apologize for the lentils–they are delicious! Thank you!

  115. I loved the idea of warm lentils, potatoes, dijon and cornichon, but nice fingerling potatoes are for some reason hard to come by here in Vancouver–so I was stoked this week when I spotted a bag of lovely organic ones at my local market :) This salad was excellent, especially when topped with the soft poached egg Deb suggests. Will definitely make again, should lovely fingerlings present themselves. I hate kludgy mayo-based potato salads, and the shallot/dijon vinaigrette here was perfect. Yay Deb :)

  116. I just made this last night and freaking loved it!!! The dressing is amazing – I totally wish I had made a double batch. In fact, I’m making more of it tonight. Finally a use for the awesome dill pickles I picked up a farmer’s market!

  117. Made this for dinner tonight and wanted to tell you I’ve been cooking pretty much solely from your site for the last 3-4 days. So many of your recipes have the bold flavours I love, and this recipe is typical of many I’m drawn to here. Another of my favourites is the Sweet Potato Miso Bowl: I will put that dressing on anything. avocado – check! crackers – check! a spoon – check! If I could get my tongue in the Vitamix, well, then, check! And the Crackly Banana Bread was great – my coworkers are all smitten kitchen fans now too. Thanks – you’re my favourite food blog.

  118. I think I am going to make a version of this dressing for the cauliflower salad, I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  119. Deb, I don’t have any parsley but I do have fresh dill – do you think that would be too overpowering? Should I just leave it out? Thanks!

  120. I made this tonight for dinner and it was really tasty. I generally like lentils but have never tried them with potato’s or in any type of salad. I realized too late that I had run out of capers so I substituted green olives. We will definitely make this again. Thanks !

  121. Just what I was looking for!
    I love lentils and wanted a warm salad to go with this weekends chicken (marinated in buttermilk, chilli, lime & coriander) I may add a little bacon to it and avoid the onion as raw gives me heartburn. Will also add some buttermilk to the dressing
    Can’t wait-thank you

  122. I made a different version of this salad that used oven roasted asparagus in addition to the potatoes and lentils. Lentils are my new favorite thing.

  123. I’ve made this salad two times in as many weeks and will probably continue to make it throughout the winter. Not wanting to go out for extra ingredients, I skipped the capers and red onions (although I’m sure they would both be fabulous additions).

    The dressing is perfectly balanced zing of mustard and pickles with the smooth olive oil. I like having extra on the side as I’ve been making a big batch of this and eating it slowly over 2-3 days.

    Can’t wait to try the beluga lentil-squash-feta one you’ve got. But this one is definitely a keeper :)

  124. Made this for lunch to brighten our dreary winter day and it hit the spot! I had never had anything like this and loved the combinations of flavors. Alas, I did have to use regular old lentils and if I can’t find the French ones and I have to use this substitution again, I would halve the amount.

  125. My husband and I made this last weekeend and it was so delicious! I’ve always loved potato salad but have never loved how calorific it is. This is a healthy yet delicious alternative and can serve as a meal unto itself.

  126. Just made this but overcooked everything by just a tad too much and things were more mushy than al dente. Otherwise, simply delicious! Happy to add this to my weekly rotation of meals.

  127. I just made this and absolutely loved it. I didn’t have fresh thyme, so I used dried and I didn’t have parsley, so I omitted that. Can’t imagine that it tastes any better without these changes though! Thanks so much for the recipe, I am sure I will keep making this for years to come! Oh, and the soft boiled egg on top! What a great suggestion! Loved it!

  128. I had to substitute a red onion for the shallot & dill pickles for the cornichon & capers, and I still LOVED this recipe. The dressing on the warm potatoes & lentils is something else. Can’t wait to make it as written!

  129. I am extremely allergic to even the smallest bit of mustard. So over the years, I have found that horseradish makes a reasonable substitution in most recipes. However, I am thinking that wouldn’t be tasty in this recipe. Any other ideas?

  130. YAYY for lentils. Trending back to a more vegan diet, not exactly by choice. However, I did pick up a bag of tiny green lentils at my local Aldi (on sale, and expiry date in the distant future), and have been looking for recipes in which to use ’em. This salad is PERFECT. Everyt’ing but the shallots is in the cupboard or ‘fridge already. And I love Karen C.’s suggestion to use horseradish, too, for a little more heat.

  131. I’ve made something similar with a large dose of sorrel, which gives a similar tanginess to the capers and gherkins and also gives the salad a really nice texture. Lentils and potatoes are definitely a winning combination!

  132. I made this tonight and loved it! It tastes like a salad/side dish from a restaurant. I had shallots in the fridge and assume it would be just as good without one. Thanks for giving me another way to use lentils Deb!

  133. Made this tonight and it is just wonderful. I realized that my red wine vinegar had gone south, so I just used balsamic instead. Super yummy!

  134. These knock it out of the ballpark. Husband hates and kids not high on lentils (though 2 are vegetarian). So yummy and everyone ate it. :)) The cornichons were tastier than expected. THANKS!!

  135. Hello, I prepared this for a Lenten meal at our church and received rave reviews and requests for the recipe. I prepared the equivalent of 4 batches of the potatoes and lentils + 5 batches of the dressing. Thank you for sharing this with your public!

  136. I absolutely love this! I usually put in some extra pickles because I like the crunch, and have it with eggs sunny side up.