Warm Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad
with lemon-dill vinaigrette
This protein-packed salad with lentils, walnuts, and crispy goat cheese rounds was a popular meal when we last featured it in 2020.
Smarts: For the onions in this salad, serve them raw or rinse them in cool water for less oniony “bite”.
- Dill, fresh - 1 tsp , chopped
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
- Oil, olive - 5 Tbsp
- Vinegar, red wine - 1 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Honey - 1 tsp
- Walnuts, halves or pieces - 1/2 cup
- Tomatoes, cherry or grape - 2 cups , halved
- Onions, red - 1/4 , diced
- Panko breadcrumbs - 1/2 cup
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Goat cheese - 4 oz (buy the variety sold in a log shape for easy slicing)
- Foil - for roasting
- Lentils, cooked - 2 cups (use pre-cooked lentils or if cooking from dried, use half the amount of dried and prepare according to package directions)
- Salad greens of choice - 8 oz
- Olives, kalamata, pitted - 1/3 cup (sub any type of olives)
Make vinaigrette - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Chop dill. Combine with lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and honey. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Walnuts - Toast walnuts in a dry pan or skillet, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 3 minutes. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Tomatoes / Onions - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Cheese - Combine panko, first part of cooking oil, and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slice the cheese into 1/2" / 1.3 cm rounds. Press the rounds in the panko so that they are crusted on both sides.
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If you’d like the onions to have less of a bite, soak them in cool water. Drain before using.
Heat oven to 425F / 218C. Line a sheet pan with foil.
Toss tomatoes in half the vinaigrette (reserve the other half for dressing). Place tomatoes on sheet pan and roast until tomatoes are lightly caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
While tomatoes roast, heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add second part of cooking oil and panko-crusted goat cheese to hot oil. Sear on both sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the goat cheese to a paper towel-lined plate until ready to serve.
Warm lentils briefly in the microwave.
Assemble salad by combining salad greens with roasted tomatoes, red onions, walnuts, olives, and lentils. Top with panko-crusted goat cheese and reserved dressing. Enjoy!