Black Lentil Salad with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

Black Lentil Salad with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

Much to the disappointment of my husband, I have been experimenting with some new vegetarian recipes. The good news for all of you that have carnivores in the family is that my husband rarely noticed that absence of meat. I started making vegetarian meals once a week, then after couple of weeks we were eating vegetarian meals 3 times a weeks. I have been creating new vegetarian recipes that are healthy, nutritious and delicious, but they best part is both me and my husband are embracing this way of eating as a new lifestyle now. By no means I consider myself a vegetarian, but you will see more vegetarian meals going forward from me. These black lentils are called beluga because of their resemblance to caviar. In this hearty dish, the little legumes are cooked with some thyme and bay leave and then combined with shallot, fresh parsley, capers and finished with lemon juice for a last-minute touch of brightness. Fresh zucchini, juicy cherry tomatoes, handful of freshly snipped basil are tossed with a little bit of olive oil and fresh lemon juice, then topped with pine nuts that goes perfectly with the lentil salad.

Black Lentil Salad with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

Black Lentil Salad with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Black Lentil Salad

  • 1 cup black lentils, soaked if possible ( can use other firm-textured lentils such as brown or French); i soaked mine for ~20-30 min, drain and rinse
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Zucchini Salad

  • 3 medium zucchini or 4-5 small ( I prefer small one for this recipe as they are more tender)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5-6 basil leaves, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice ( adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the lentils and 2 cups of water, bay leave, thyme and a few pinches of salt to boil.
  2. Cover and simmer on low heat until lentils are tender but not mushy, 10 to 20 minutes (depending on soak time, if any). When the lentils are tender, drain off any excess of water.
  3. Put the lentils in a large bowl and add the shallots, capers and fresh parsley.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and honey. Pour over the salad and fold to combine. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  5. While the lentils are cooking prepare the zucchini salad. Slice the zucchini with a spiral slicer, mandoline slicer, julienne peeler, or very carefully by hand. The thinner the better.
  6. Add sliced zucchini in a large bowl. Add halved tomatoes and basil.
  7. Gently toss together with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with toasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese if using.
  8. To serve, put a few spoonfuls of lentil salad on each plate. Add zucchini salad and drizzle with extra olive oil if desired.

14 thoughts on “Black Lentil Salad with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

  1. Wonderful dish, so much nutritional value all in one sitting. We too eat vegetarian meals and fish about 3 times a week – initially I was running out of vegetarian ideas, but I love how you’ve paired black lentils here with some fresh garden produce. Very nice indeed!

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