ffwd – lentil, lemon and tuna salad

I have to say that, thanks to Dorie, I’m now just a little addicted to French lentils. I feel quite virtuous, because they are so good for you too – a “super food” even. So while this is the first time I’ve made this exact recipe, it’s not actually the very first attempt at something like it. I’m still not sure that I really love the combination, but I’m guessing that like the lentils themselves, this will grow on me.

We’ve made these lentils before, so it’s really no different. We willhowever, get to use preserved lemons for this recipe! I ended up buying a jar of chopped preserved meyer lemon. I couldn’t imagine that some other variety would be better – though I am a preserved lemon novice, so I could be wrong.

Once the lentils are cooked and drained (I didn’t use the optional cognac), the warm lentils are stirred together with a quick vinaigrette that includes some grainy mustard, vinegar and olive oil. The dressing also includes a black olive tapenade – I was given a jar of amazing-looking stuff, so couldn’t resist using it here (and now that it’s open, I guess I have to finish it!). That’s initially tossed with the lentils, then a sliced green onion and some preserved lemon are added (I made a half-recipe).

The unfortunate thing about the French lentils (or lentils du Puy), is that while they are tasty, they are not particularly pretty. So the final presentation, once the tuna is added and the whole salad is seasoned with salt and pepper, isn’t all that beautiful. I’m afraid, this is destined to be lunch at work, and not a beautifully composed one. I’m sure others will take Dorie’s suggestion and serve this with a tomato and pepper salad, which would surely make this a bit prettier on a plate. But for me, I’ll have to be content with a homely, virtuous salad that’s delicious. It seems that there should be a lesson there…

9 thoughts on “ffwd – lentil, lemon and tuna salad

  1. Agreed – these are tasty, but they don’t have a lot of “pretty” factor.
    This was a good salad – I just wish I had more people that would eat it in my house 🙂
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Although I opted not to add the preserved lemons but lemon juice instead (plus a few little changes to suit everyones taste), the salad turned out to be delicious – I am glad that you enjoyed it – nice post!

  3. That’s it…you are right. I’ve been trying to figure out why I don’t get excited to serve this “super food” more often, it’s ugly! and it’s hard to make it look appetizing. Even hidden under toppings it is still ugly. When I read your post, it clicked with me. I can’t get excited about this food even though it tastes good and is so healthy. It is not “particularly pretty” and does not stir the appetite. Great post.

  4. Yeah, it definitely takes a ton of garnishing to make lentils beautiful! I’m glad you enjoyed…this has got to be my favorite lentil recipe so far…yum!

  5. I substituted black lentils, which were a little prettier than brown, I have to say. Either way, this salad is a keeper.

  6. I scooped my salad in a rounded measuring cup, but that was as pretty as I could make it. I had never tried lentils until this recipe (WHA…), and really liked the salad. I hope you enjoy the rest of your tapenade!

  7. Although I agree, this ain’t pretty (I called it dowdy), it is delicious and nutritious. I did use the tomatoes and red pepper salad as a garnish and it was like putting a red hat on Ma Kettle. There still wasn’t anything attractive about it. That little extra did add more flavor, however. I didn’t have the preserved lemons – used lemon zest and capers, but I intend to put a jar together this week. Nice Post.

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