Spring has finally arrived and al fresco entertaining is on the horizon. But with so many people on a special diet, it can be hard to find a “one dish fits all” option. Enter this flavorful, fully-loaded Mediterranean Lentil Salad. It’s naturally vegan and also free of gluten, grains, dairy, nuts and more. But don’t worry, it will be loved by all!
Inspired by its coastal origins, traditional Greek dishes feature a colorful collection of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and grilled fare- perfect fare for spring and summer dining. This Mediterranean Lentil Salad highlights several Greek vegetables, seasonings, and ever-so-popular lentils for a dish that makes a nice light vegetarian meal on its own, or pairs beautifully with an entree from the grill.
The recipe and images were shared with us by The National Onion Association.
Special Diet Notes: Loaded Mediterranean Lentil Salad
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For a soy-free Mediterranean lentil salad, you can substitute your favorite nut cheese or “safe” dairy-free, soy-free cheese alternative or simply omit it! This salad has plenty of flavor without the tofu or “cheese”.
- 2 to 3 medium tomatoes, cut into eight wedges
- 1 (9.5-ounce) jar whole, pitted Greek olives, drained
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 8 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1⅓ cups dry lentils
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 medium cucumber, chopped
- 1 (12-ounce) jar artichoke hearts, sliced
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons chives, chopped
- ⅔ cup crumbled firm tofu (or dairy-free feta if you have it!)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- On a medium-sized baking sheet lined with parchment paper, arrange the tomatoes skin side down. Add the drained olives to pan and drizzle all with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and lightly season with sea salt. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Cook lentils according to the package directions, approximately 20 minutes.
- While the lentils are cooking, place the red onion in small bowl. Pour on the red wine vinegar and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Stir and let stand at room temperature.
- Drain the cooked lentils and place them in a large bowl with the marinated red onion, garlic and remaining olive oil. Stir well and let cool completely. When cool, stir the tomato and olive mixture plus the rest of ingredients with lentils. Taste test, and add more salt and/or pepper, if desired. Serve immediately or chill up to 24 hours.