Black Quinoa and Red Lentil Salad with Parsley

I dreamed this salad up last week, thinking it would be perfect for Passover. Turns out there’s a lot of debate about whether or not quinoa’s actually Passover-appropriate (and many Jews won’t eat lentils during Passover, either). So while I am posting this during Passover, the observant among you might choose to make it some other time.

black quinoa and red lentil salad

This is a great one-pan vegetarian dish that could be embellished in a number of ways. It’s got a good amount of protein from the quinoa and lentils already, but you could add some cooked fish or chicken, if you like. You could also top individual servings of this salad with a fried or poached egg. I love parsley- it’s incredibly nutritious and so flavorful- but if you are not a fan, you can substitute your favorite salad greens instead.

Black Quinoa Salad photo

Standard quinoa will work in this recipe, of course, as will French or other lentils (though the cooking time may need to be adjusted with a different type of lentils). Feel free to cook in seasonal vegetables or to omit the olives and/or preserved lemon rind if you don’t enjoy those flavors; if you do keep them in, I think toasted pine nuts would be a great addition to the salad (sadly, I was out of these when I made mine).

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Black Quinoa Salad with Red Lentils

I am sending this post along to Jen’s Grains and Legumes Kitchen Bootcamp for April!

More delicious looking quinoa salads:
Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables from Deliciously Organic
Sweet and Crunchy Quinoa Salad from The Kitchn

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Recipe for Black Quinoa and Red Lentil Salad with Parsley

Adapted from this quinoa dish of mine
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • *2 tablespoon olive oil
  • *1 onion chopped
  • *2 stalks celery chopped fine
  • *1 cup black quinoa rinsed in cold water and drained (use a fine mesh strainer for this, as quinoa seeds are pretty small)
  • *1/2 cup red lentils rinsed in the strainer with the quinoa
  • *2 1/2-3 cups water or use chicken or vegetable stock
  • *1/4 cup pitted black olives I used oil-cured olives
  • *1-2 teaspoons minced preserved lemon rind
  • *1-2 cups minced parsley
  • *pinch or two of smoked paprika

Instructions

  • 1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally until it is golden and translucent. Add celery and cook for a minute or two longer.
  • 2. Add the rinsed quinoa and lentils along with 1 1/2 cups of the the water or stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan.
  • 3. Allow the quinoa and lentils to cook for approximately 15 mintues, until the water is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup water, stir, and continue to simmer until absorbed. Keep adding liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the lentils and quinoa are tender. When the quinoa and lentils are done, turn off the heat and allow everything to rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
  • 4. Mix in the olives and the preserved lemon, and taste to see if the dish needs additional seasoning. Add a pinch or two of smoked paprika, if desired, and serve warm or cold over finely minced parsley to taste.