Black Lentil Salad With Tzatziki, Avocado and Pea Shoots 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Apr 1, 2015

This hearty salad becomes light and springlike with the addition of Greece's traditional yogurt-cucumber condiment and seasonal greens. You'll have about twice as much tzatziki as you need for the salad, but you'll be happy to have it for spreading on sandwiches or flatbread; dolloping on other salads, roasted vegetables or grains; or serving as a dip alongside olives.

Make Ahead: The cooked lentils can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. The lentil mixture can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The tzatziki needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour and up to 5 days before serving.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the tzatziki
  • 1 cup whole plain Greek-style yogurt (may substitute low-fat or nonfat)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Fine sea salt
  • For the salad
  • 1 cup dried black Beluga lentils
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for optional garnish
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 organic lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • Flesh of 2 ripe avocados, sliced, for garnish
  • Handful of fresh pea shoots (may substitute baby spinach leaves or arugula), for garnish


For the tzatziki: Put the yogurt in a large bowl.

Grate the cucumber into a separate bowl and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Add the squeezed cucumber to the yogurt, along with the oil, garlic, dill and lemon juice, and fold to combine; season lightly with salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, to allow the flavors to combine.

For the salad: Bring the lentils and 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes. Halfway through the cooking, add a few pinches of salt. When the lentils are tender, drain off any excess water.

Put the lentils in a large bowl along with the olives, shallot, parsley, 2 tablespoons of oil, the lemon zest and juice and the maple syrup. Season lightly with salt, and stir to incorporate.

To serve, put a few spoonfuls of the lentil salad on each plate. Garnish each serving with slices of avocado, some pea shoots and a generous dollop of tzatziki (using about 1 cup total). Drizzle with more oil, if desired.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "My New Roots," by Sarah Britton (Clarkson Potter, 2015).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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