Make Ahead

French Lentil, Kamut, and Avocado Salad with Basil Dressing

July  8, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

This is a nutrient-dense and delicious salad made with lentils, kamut (an ancient grain), and delicious avocado. It's all tossed and drizzled with a fragrant basil oil dressing. —Petit World Citizen

Test Kitchen Notes

Looking for a new grain in your life? Kamut really packs a nutrient-rich punch. A satisfying super grain, Kamut upgrades this salad to a hearty entree. The avocado adds a rich creaminess, and the basil dressing is just simply delicious. You can't help but feel good after eating this super healthy and delicious salad. —Anna Francese Gass

What You'll Need
  • French Lentil, Kamut, and Avocado Salad
  • 1/2 cup French lentils
  • 3 to 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup kamut berries, soaked overnight and drained
  • 4 to 5 cups arugula and/or other mixed greens
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled in strips
  • 3 radishes, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons flaxseeds, plus more for garnish
  • 3 to 4 avocados
  • Basil Dressing
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring lentils and water or vegetable broth to a boil and simmer until lentils are slightly tender. Drain and allow to cool.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring kamut berries to boil in 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the kamut berries are tender, but still slightly chewy, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain any remaining liquid and allow to cool.
  3. To make the basil dressing: In a mini food processor blend the oil, garlic, fresh basil, and salt.
  4. Once the lentils and kamut have cooled, make the salad. In a large bowl, add greens, fennel, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds. Gradually add basil dressing, keeping in mind you may not use all of it. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust for salt. Let salad sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Toss again before serving; serve with 1/2 sliced avocado on top of each salad. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds, and drizzle with more basil oil dressing.
  5. Note: When using kamut, don’t forget to soak overnight in advance. If you have difficulty finding kamut berries, you can substitute farro, spelt, or wheat berries.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jamie Ryan Lockman
    Jamie Ryan Lockman
  • savorthis
  • Mamasays
  • byb

13 Reviews

Jamie R. August 21, 2014
What a great mix of fruit, veggies, grains, lentils, herbs, and seeds!

KAMUT® Brand khorasan is an organic, non-genetically modified, ancient wheat variety similar to durum. In 1990, “KAMUT” was registered as a trademark by the Quinn family in order to support organic farming and preserve the ancient khorsasan wheat variety. Under the KAMUT® Brand name, khorasan wheat must always be grown organically, never be hybridized or modified, and contain high levels of purity and nutrition. Today, Kamut International owns and has registered the KAMUT® trademark in over 40 countries, and is responsible for protection and marketing of all KAMUT® Brand khorasan wheat throughout the world.

KAMUT® wheat is grown on dryland certified organic farms primarily in Montana, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. The grain is prized by consumers who appreciate the grain for its high energy nutrition, easy digestibility, nutty/buttery taste, and firm texture. KAMUT® khorasan wheat is higher in protein, selenium, amino acids, and Vitamin E than most modern wheat and contains essential minerals such as magnesium and zinc. It is used as whole grain berries, whole grain flour, white flour, flakes, and puffs to make a variety of products. Some specific benefits of using KAMUT® khorasan are receiving more nutrients, protein, and taste than most commonly consumed whole wheat - plus supporting organic agriculture and helping to preserve an ancient grain.

KAMUT® khorasan is a variety of wheat thus has gluten content. A lot of people who are not able to tolerate wheat tell us that they are able to tolerate KAMUT® khorasan wheat. KI has ongoing research to understand why – it is our theory that because KAMUT® khorasan is an ancient grain, it retains the qualities that made it desirable so many years ago.

Please visit the Kamut International website at to learn more. And follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest news!

My kind regards - Jamie

Jamie Ryan Lockman | Regional Director – North America
Kamut International, Ltd.
P.O. Box 4903 | Missoula, MT 59806 | USA
406.251.9418 phone | 406.251.9420 fax
[email protected] |
pratchford August 10, 2014
I was very excited to try this but didn't quite come together for me. I definitely needed lemon juice, it seemed overly oily with the avocados. Maybe too many ingredients/competing flavors. I might try a simplified version.
Petit W. August 11, 2014
I'm so sorry this didn't work out for you. Did you use 4-5 cups of greens? I'm sorry I wasn't more clear, but the amount of oil used is dependent on personal liking. So you can use less and not the full 1/4 cup. That amount was my suggestion to make the basil oil and you can drizzle as much or as little. Lemon juice or vinegar are certainly possible additions to the basil oil dressing. I often use them in salads and sometimes I don't as I find the green don't wilt as quickly when lemon or vinegar is not added. Again, I'm so sorry this didn't meet your expectations. It's a favorite of my family and friends. Please, feel free to use the recipe as an inspiration to tweak it and make it suitable to your liking. The kamut with lentils, fresh vegetables, seeds and avocado truly make it a nutritional powerhouse. All the best and thank you so much for your feedback. I appreciate it.
Pegeen July 31, 2014
Looks delicious. Do you have any recommendations on what to substitute for kamut / khorasan wheat? I can get spelt easily but not khorasan wheat. Since there is only 1/2 cup kamut in the recipe, if it was omitted, do you think just upping the amount of lentils would work? Thank you!
Petit W. July 31, 2014
Hi Pegeen, thanks for your comment and question. I think there are several possibilities for substitutions. Instead of kamut, you could try spelt berries, farro, wheat berries, or oat berries (also known as whole oat groats). I like the addition of the grain in this salad for added nutrients, texture and flavor. I hope that helps. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions! All the best!
savorthis July 31, 2014
Yum! I love kamut. I found that I could cook it in the pressure cooker which was great since I am never prepared enough to make it for dinner- but this is a great recipe to have on hand for leftover grains/legumes.
Petit W. July 31, 2014
Hi, thanks for your comment. Great you can cook the kamut in the pressure cooker! So happy you like the recipe! I hope you love it!
Mamasays July 11, 2014
I ended up using a little splash of white wine vinegar and I also used some sprouted sunflower seeds. The salad was delicious!! Great combo---and I have never tried kamut before. It does remind me of farro a lot. Thanks for the recipe and good luck with the contest.
Petit W. July 11, 2014
Hi Dara, wonderful! I'm so pleased you tried it! Your additions sound great too. One thing I like about this salad is that it's quite versatile. I often try to come up with recipes that have enough room for additions, so you can really make it your own. I think it provides opportunities to make recipes even more interesting or delicious! Thank you for trying it. FYI, I have another kamut salad recipe posted on my blog, Best, Martine
Mamasays July 10, 2014
what about a little lemon juice or vinegar in the dressing?
Petit W. July 10, 2014
Hi Dara, a little lemon juice or vinegar would certainly be a nice and refreshing addition to the basil oil. I often make salad dressings with and without lemon juice or vinegar. Please feel free to add either if you try this salad!
byb July 9, 2014
This looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing, and good luck!
Petit W. July 9, 2014
Thank you! I hope you try it and love it!