This striking black lentil salad is studded with pomegranate arils and mixed with freshly chopped kale for a red and green palette! It’s all tossed in a delicious red wine vinaigrette and finished with creamy goat cheese crumbles. Serve this vegetarian black lentil recipe for Christmas or any winter meal.
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This is the first year I can remember that I’m actually READY for Christmas. Our house is decorated, we’ve already started baking, almost all of our gifts have been ordered, and I’ve been intentionally trying to relax by the tree whenever I can.
Not leaving your house for the better part of nine months will get you to this point, I guess. Regardless, I’m really in the Christmas spirit, and I’m letting that shine through the last few recipes of 2020 that I have for all of you.
Take this black lentil salad recipe, for example. I dolled it up with kale and pomegranate arils. Not only does it look festive, but it also tastes amazing! And it’s a great way to try black lentils if you aren’t familiar with this ingredient.
This dish would be a great addition to Christmas dinner, but you can even just make it for lunch one day this month to break up the monotony of your work from home routine. The lentils contribute satisfying plant protein, while the pomegranate seeds and sweet dressing complement the earthy kale, and the goat cheese provides a tangy twist.
What are black beluga lentils?
Black lentils are a small variety of lentils with dark brown skin. They are also known as beluga lentils, because they resemble beluga caviar.
They have the same earthy taste as other variety of lentils but with a thicker skin. To maintain the thick skin, it’s important to adjust the cooking time for black lentils. I recommend cooking them for about 10 minutes less than regular lentils, so about 15 to 20 minutes instead of 30.
Where to Find Black Lentils
Black lentils are harder to find than red, green, or other common types of lentils. However, I’ve had luck finding canned black lentils at the local foods co-op and Whole Foods.
Target also sells microwaveable pouches of black lentils, and you can buy dry black lentils online at Amazon. It’s worth checking the bean aisle at your preferred grocery store, too, because it’s definitely possible they would be stocked at a large grocery chain.
How to Make Black Lentil Salad
- Cook the black lentils to desired level of doneness. Even better, save time with canned black lentils. Drain and rinse before using.
- Add the black lentils to a large mixing bowl with finely chopped kale and pomegranate seeds.
- Whisk together the red wine vinaigrette, pour over the salad, and toss until coated. Add in the goat cheese crumbles before serving.
The dressing for this black lentil salad uses mostly pantry staples. To receive my free pantry checklist, subscribe to the weekly newsletter!
- If you aren’t using canned black lentils, cook them in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad. If you can’t find black lentils, this recipe would also taste delicious with French or green lentils.
- To make black lentil salad in advance, combine the kale, pomegranates, and lentils in an airtight container. Store in the fridge until it’s time to eat. Add the dressing and goat cheese right before eating for best results.
- Once the salad is dressed, leftovers won’t keep that well in the fridge. They lasted about two days for me before they got soggy.
- Although this recipe is intended to be a side, it can also serve as a vegetarian main dish, thanks to the lentils. To bulk it up even more, consider adding shredded turkey or chicken.
- If you don’t like goat cheese or don’t have it on hand, consider use feta instead. I bet that would taste delicious!
More Healthy Salad Recipes
For another kale salad, check out the Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing or Kale Radicchio Salad with Sourdough Croutons. If you enjoy this black lentil salad, you may also like the Lemony Fennel Lentil Salad with Parsley.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Black Lentil Salad with Kale and Pomegranate
For the salad
- 3.5 cups cooked black lentils - or 2 x 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups finely chopped lacinato kale - can sub curly kale
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup goat cheese crumbles - more to taste
- If you are using dry lentils instead of canned, cook them according to package instructions to yield ~3.5 cups.
- Combine the black lentils, chopped kale, and pomegranate arils in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the minced red onion, olive oil, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss until coated. Sprinkle in the goat cheese crumbles and gently mix until combined. Enjoy!
- You can find black lentils at co-ops or health food stores, including Whole Foods. Target sells microwaveable pouches of black lentils, and you can purchase dry or canned black lentils on Amazon.
- To make this salad in advance, combine the salad ingredients minus the goat cheese in an airtight container. Add the goat cheese and dressing before serving (can do so up to 30 minutes before).
- You can serve it as a side or main dish. To bulk up this salad, consider adding shredded chicken or turkey.
Merry Christmas! – Lizzie