Warm Spinach Lentil Salad with Olive Oil and Honey Dressing

April 4, 2013

Spinach Lentil Salad

This is a nice and easy vegetable dish that really is a complete meal. Beans are one of the most important components of the Greek-Mediterranean cuisine, particularly during fasting periods. They are usually consumed 2 times a week as a soup or cooked (or roasted) with tomato and other vegetables, they also are often combined with greens. This combination is truly one of the most nutritious you can eat.

There are so many benefits to all the ingredients: spinach provides your vegetable serving along with fiber while the lentils are your source of protein, some iron and of course fiber. And all the ingredients including the olive oil and honey provide the antioxidants. Research has shown that beans provide improved glycemic control making them a good choice for diabetics, but also protecting from heart disease as they can help lower cholesterol levels. Greens such as spinach also have a high antioxidant content, very few calories and are filling. Combine this with a nice dressing made with olive oil, a touch of honey and vinegar and you have a dish anyone can enjoy whether they are vegan, diabetic or even avoiding gluten.

Don’t try to skimp on the olive oil; it’s what makes this dish tasty.

Warm Spinach Lentil Salad with Olive Oil-Honey Dressing

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound spinach washed and chopped (leaves)
  • 1 cup dry uncooked lentils
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt/Pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Put the lentils in a pot and add water until lentils are covered. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.

2. Remove old water and add enough new water, to about 1 inch higher then lentils, add a bay leaf and a garlic clove and let it simmer for about 30 minutes until lentils are soft.

3. Wash spinach and chop.

4. Once lentils are cooked and strained (remove bay leaf and garlic clove). Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in another pot and saute the other clove of garlic minced.

5. After 1-2 minutes add the lentils and stir them so they are covered with the oil for about 2 minutes and then add the spinach, heating until it wilts and most liquids are gone.

6. Remove the spinach lentil mixture and place in shallow large bowl and let it cool a bit.

7. Make the dressing by mixing 1/3 cup olive oil with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon honey. Add pepper and salt to taste

8. Drizzle the dressing over the spinach and lentils and blend making sure dressing has covered everything.

9. You may serve this with some bread and cheese.

Photo by Olive Tomato

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10 Comments

  • Reply Alexa April 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you for the recipe, it looks so healthy. Can you use kale instead?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Yes! Any kind of green will do.

  • Reply Lisa @ Greek Vegetarian April 9, 2013 at 12:56 am

    This looks absolutely delicious. I love any salad with lentils, but I’ve never tried one with a honey balsamic dressing. I really must try this soon.

    I use a lot of olive oil in my cooking – usually extra virgin olive oil from Crete. Here in Australia we can find a lot of imported Greek oils but I am interested in your opinion as to which part of Greece the best olive oil comes from?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 9, 2013 at 6:20 am

      Thanks Lisa. I believe a good olive oil can come from different parts of Greece and be equally excellent. Messinia and Crete are known for the their olive oils, but Lesvos for example also has excellent olive oils. It depends on a variety of factors.

      • Reply Lisa @ Greek Vegetarian April 13, 2013 at 8:30 am

        Thank you for the advice Elena! I might look for some Lesvos olive oil next time. Lesvos is very close to the island where my dad’s family is from – Limnos – so I have extra incentive to try this olive oil! Thank you!!

  • Reply Annie May 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Great recipe. Just a quick question though–is it supposed to be 1/3 or 1/4 cup olive oil for the dressing? Your ingredients list says 1/3 but the directions say 1/4. Thanks.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD May 13, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks Annie, Yes it is 1/3, I have corrected it. Thanks for letting me know.

  • Reply What Greek Kids are Eating for Lunch and Why American School Lunches Should be More Greek | Olive Tomato November 30, 2014 at 9:33 am

    […] Spinach lentil salad with olive oil and honey. This tastes really good and can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature […]

  • Reply Veronica July 15, 2016 at 2:07 am

    Thank you for this recipe, and the so many others you’ve posted! Your recipes are perfect for busy people- I’ve made almost every one! They’re healthy, cheap if you go frozen, and not many dishes to wash!!! The spanakorizo, this soup, spanakopita, the potatoes, pastelli have really worked their way into my staples. Even the boyfriend likes them! 🙂

  • Reply Veronica July 15, 2016 at 2:08 am

    *this salad

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