Julia Child's Lentil Salad ♥ Recipe | A Veggie Venture: Julia Child's Lentil Salad ♥ Recipe

Julia Child's Lentil Salad ♥ Recipe

A simple lentil salad recipe from Julia Child, just cooked lentils in a garlic and herb vinaigrette
Today's recipe: Julia Child's Lentil Salad, lentils in a garlicky vinaigrette, served warm, at room temperature or cold. Low carb and high fiber. Weight Watchers 2 points. Salad itself is vegan.

When my book club and a friend's book club met earlier this week to discuss The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan, the conversation was lively but the food -- oh my -- the food was fabulous. I'm still prying the recipes from the group but here's the first of what I hope are several great recipes, ones I just know that readers here will find appealing.

This is a simple lentil salad that's just perfect for fall, especially since it's laced with autumn-ish herbs, thyme and sage.

Lentils are typically just a mess of brown-ness, but this salad lends itself to simple but dramatic garnishing, just using wedges of perfect hard-boiled eggs and, if you have some, cherry tomato halves. At this week's potluck, the lentils were placed in a leaf-shaped bowl lined with the tomatoes, with slices of egg arranged in the center, a big sprig of thyme emerging from the base -- very pretty!

LENTILS FOR KIDS My favorite neighbor friend, age 8, popped in for a taste test. She loved the lentils!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes over an hour
Time to table: 1 hour (or more if lentils are soaked before cooking and/or served at room temperature or cold, see NOTES)
Makes 3 cups

6 cups water
1-1/2 cups lentils, rinsed (see NOTES)

2 large cloves garlic, smashed and skins removed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon good mustard (a prepared mustard such as Dijon)
2 tablespoons or so of fresh herbs, I used thyme and sage from my garden
1/2 cup good olive oil

Bring water to a boil in a large kettle. Add lentils and cook until done, testing after 20 minutes or so. Drain (see NOTES).

While lentils cook, mix the vinaigrette ingredients in the food processor cup of an immersion blender.

Salt & pepper to taste

Stir the vinaigrette into the (drained) hot lentils, stirring well to coat. Season to taste. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Julia Child's recipe and my friend both used just regular brown lentils. Julia's instructions suggest soaking the lentils for an hour before cooking. I used black lentils from Trader Joe's, whose label specifically mentioned that there is no necessity to soak the lentils, so I didn't.
Julia suggests saving the cooking liquid for using in soups -- so I have, it's in the fridge, awaiting the next batch of soup.
UPDATE: A reader who made the salad suggests adding salt to the cooking water. I don't, since I've read that this makes the lentils tough. Since I've not done side-by-side tests, I'll leave other readers to make their own calls!

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Looking for healthy ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous Alphabet of Vegetables. Healthy eaters will love the low carb recipes and the Weight Watchers recipes.
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I've made this salad with green Puy lentils, too, and it's delicious.

I have that book! What have I not made this salad before? Will make some this afternoon. Thanks!

I'm making this this afternoon to take on our road trip tomorrow! Wonderful Alanna.

By kettle, do you mean pot? Or do you mean tea kettle?

Lydia ~ Trade Joe's black lentils have the same texture as the green Puy lentils, they're perfect. But my friend made it with regular brown lentils, I was surprised how good they were.

Andrea ~ It's a winner, for sure!

Tanna ~ This is a great road trip recipe -- no mayo, no mess, easy to serve. I think I'll be making it often.

Matt ~ "Does the pot call the kettle black?" Yes, a pot is what I mean, but a big one since the lentils do expand considerably. Thanks for the clarification.

I tried the recipe. I have several suggestions.

1) Add the salt when cooking the lentils as it will get the flavor into the beans.
2) Specify whether you are talking about dry mustard or prepared mustard.
3) Nowhere do you say to drain the lentils before adding the vinegrette.

Just a few uncertainties when making this recipe for the first time.

I enjoy your recipes. I like the Weight Watchers ones. I am 75 yrs but still need to watch my weight to stay healthy.



Hi Grace,

So glad the recipe inspired you, thanks for taking the time to share your suggestions. I've updated the post to include them.

FYI - I don't salt the lentil water because I've read that makes the lentils turn out tough. But I don't really know, so, perhaps others will want to follow your lead.

I've added a second reminder to drain the lentils -- we don't want to forget that!

Thanks again - so glad you're here!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna