Crisp, little gem lettuce leaves, bitter radicchio, and black beluga lentils tossed with creamy pecorino cheese vinaigrette. This hearty and refreshing salad is perfect for a healthy lunch or dinner!
I’ve been on a lentil kick lately after a dietitian friend told me to add more lentils and beans to my diet. Lentils are super healthy and packed with protein and fiber. Luckily they’re also so delicious!
This salad is made with black beluga lentils, named after their resemblance to beluga caviar, as well as little gem lettuce, radicchio, parsley, and creamy pecorino cheese vinaigrette.
The secret to this salad is the vinaigrette! Creamy pecorino cheese is blended with dijon mustard, vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Pro tip: make a double batch of this flavor-packed dressing to use all week long.
Check out more great salads:
- Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Feta and Cranberries
- Persimmon Salad with Blue Cheese and Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette
- California Chopped Salad
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this salad: little gem lettuce, radicchio, dijon mustard, olive oil, honey, sherry vinegar, shallot, pecorino cheese (or parmesan), radish, parsley leaves.
Recipe Step by Step
Step 1. Make the Dressing:
This dressing is so easy to make! Just blend all of the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
Step 2. Season the lentils
Toss the cooked lentils with a little bit of dressing, minced shallot, salt and pepper.
Step 3. Toss and Serve
Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing, taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls and top with the lentils and shaved pecorino cheese.
FAQs and Expert Tips
To cook lentils place them in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse with water. Comb through them and pick out any rocks or debris. Pour the lentils into a medium saucepan and cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain, rinse and let cool to room temperature.
Little Gem is a hybrid of Butter lettuce and Romaine. It comes in small heads, about the size of your hand, and is hearty, crisp, and slightly sweet.
You can make the dressing, marinate the lentils, and wash all of the lettuce up to a day in advance. Wait to toss the lettuces with dressing until just before you’re ready to serve.
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Little Gem Salad with Lentils, Radicchio and, Pecorino Vinaigrette
- 1 head radicchio or treviso trimmed and roughly torn into 1-inch pieces
- 4 heads little gem lettuces cores removed, leaves separated
- 1 heaping cup cooked black beluga lentils see note
- 1 shallot minced
- 4 radishes trimmed, and thinly sliced
- ½ c parsley leaves
- 1 c grated pecorino cheese
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- ¼ c sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ c olive oil
- salt and pepper
- To make the dressing place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until combined.
- In a small bowl toss the lentils and minced shallot with a few tablespoons of the dressing, just enough to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- To make the salad: In a large bowl toss the radicchio, gem lettuce leaves, parsley, and sliced radish with a few tablespoons of the dressing. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls and top with the marinated lentils and grated pecorino cheese.
- Gem Lettuce: romaine hearts
- Pecorino Cheese: parmesan or manchego
- Sherry Vinegar: red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- How to Cook Lentils: To cook lentils place them in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse with water. Comb through them and pick out any rocks or debris. Pour the lentils into a medium saucepan and cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain, rinse and, let cool to room temperature.
- Can this salad be made ahead of time? You can make the dressing, marinate the lentils, and wash all of the lettuce up to a day in advance. Wait to toss the lettuces with dressing until just before you’re ready to serve.
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