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Lentil Salad With Tomatoes, Green Bell Peppers and Olives

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    Lentil Salad With Tomatoes, Green Bell Peppers and Olives
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    Onion, scallions, green pepper, olives, lentils, cilantro and tomatoes

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

May 25, 2015

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Lentil Salad With Tomatoes, Green Bell Peppers and Olives

Confetti of white, green, red and black, this is a cheerful-looking vegetarian salad that can make an appetizer or an entire meal. The secret to its great taste is to let the warm lentils absorb the dressing for a few hours. The rest of the ingredients are added afterward, resulting in a crunchy, hearty salad high in protein and fiber.

The cayenne pepper in the dressing adds only a hint of spiciness, but skip it if you prefer a plain version. You won’t use all the dressing, so save it for another salad—it’s versatile and will last in the refrigerator for a few days. And cilantro-haters should substitute with fresh parsley. 


  1. Serves 2–4
  2. 1 cup lentils
  3. ¼ cup onion, diced
  4. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  5. ½ cup olive oil
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  8. Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  9. ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  10. ½ cup green bell pepper, diced
  11. ¼ cup black olives, pitted, sliced
  12. 4 scallions, chopped
  13. 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped


Place the lentils and onion in a medium-size pot, add 4 cups of water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20–25 minutes.


While the lentils are cooking, prepare the salad dressing. Place the vinegar or lemon juice, olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper in a small jar, close the lid and shake until the mixture emulsifies. Alternatively whisk the ingredients in a bowl.


Drain the lentils and stir in 1/3 cup of the dressing while still warm. Set aside to cool completely. Add the rest of the ingredients, toss and serve.


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