Lentils Folded into Yogurt, Spinach, and Basil

By • April 10, 2014 8 Comments

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Author Notes: Make this with a light touch so you can taste the different ingredients involved. And serve it in smaller portions than you might imagine -- let people come back for seconds. It is a nod to pesto and a salute to yogurt.

You can buy baby spinach year-round. But if it is spring, buy true baby spinach, the smaller leaves of the early variety; they will have a subtler taste and texture. Wash and dry either type well; the leaves will not chop or tear cleanly if still damp.
Peter Miller

Serves four

At home

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

At the office

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, sliced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. At home: Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts or walnuts and cook until lightly toasted, 5 to 7 minutes. Lay them out on a wooden cutting board to cool, then chop them roughly to the size of the lentils.
  2. If your knife is sharp enough to slice the spinach and basil leaves without bruising them, gently cut them into bite-size pieces. Otherwise, tear them by hand.
  3. Place the lentils in a bowl and mix in the spinach, basil, parsley, and garlic. Squeeze the lemon into the lentils, mix, and then fold in the yogurt. Mix again, then slowly pour in the oil, stirring, as you do, to combine. At this point, taste the mixture, and season with salt and 2 good grindings of pepper. Finally, fold the roasted nuts into the dish, and finish with a drizzle of oil. The dish is now ready to serve.
  4. The lentils and greens will keep in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator for at least 3 days.
  5. At the shop: For lunch, bring the lentils and greens close to room temperature before serving. They can go on a slice of buttered (and perhaps grilled) bread, or on a lettuce leaf as a salad. Top the lentils with a squeeze of lemon juice, some Parmesan, and a final grind of fresh pepper. Sometimes, if there are any lentils left after lunch, we serve them as a late-day snack, with a little extra salt at the end.
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Comments (8) Questions (0)


11 months ago Josie Marsh

This is great. Only serves two when this lactating mama has it for lunch though :) I had it on homemade olive oil toasted sourdough bread.


about 1 year ago Count Mockula

I'm about to make this for the second time. It's filling, nutritious, and tasty!


about 1 year ago Brooke J

Made this last night for Mama's and Kids night at my friend's house. We had a vegetarian in the group but everybody really enjoyed it, including myself! Great recipe. Thank you!


about 1 year ago anntruelove

What kind of lentils are recommended for this recipe?


about 1 year ago Mer.

Me, too, what kind of lentils are best?


about 1 year ago Alyssa Kollmeyer

I was skeptical that this salad would keep for 3 days, but it really did! It was delicious as an office lunch (I scooped it up with Food Should Taste Good chips). And we ate it for dinner again with some extra walnuts on top. Healthy and delicious! And to cut down on prep time I used Melissa's pre-steamed lentils and it came out beautifully. This will be added to my rotation for sure!


about 1 year ago Emily

We made this for Easter with less yogurt and pine nuts and more lemon zest to make it more of a salad, less of a spread. It was delicious! Thanks so much for sharing. I think this will be a regular dish in my house.


about 1 year ago mauigirlcooks

This sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing!