Carrot, Lentil, and Feta Salad

May 18, 2015
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 3
Author Notes

Za'atar and a mustard-heavy Dijon vinaigrette provide the flavor backbone for this quick salad, which gets a cool crunch from carrot ribbons and a creaminess from lentils and crumbled feta. It's a healthy weeknight meal that can also be refrigerated and saved for lunch the next day. —Christopher Kibler

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Christopher Kibler is a relatively new member of Food25's community and hails from our nation's capitol.
WHAT: A make-ahead salad-for-dinner you'll soon be calling "lunch."
HOW: Cook the lentils in chicken broth (but feel free to swap out vegetable broth if you're vegetarian!). Toss them with carrot ribbons, crumbled feta, and a Dijon-za'atar dressing.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This salad had us at "save for lunch"—and that was before we tried the zingy za'atar-drenched lentils. We couldn't help ourselves from eating the whole bowl, but we can only imagine it only gets better as the flavors meld together. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup brown lentils
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coarse-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons za'atar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  1. In a heavy saucepan, bring chicken stock to boil. Reduce to a simmer and add lentils. Cook uncovered until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Add stock or water as needed to keep lentils barely covered during cooking.
  2. While lentils are cooking, wash and peel carrots. Then, use vegetable peeler to slice long, thin ribbons of carrots, approximately 4 cups total.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and za'atar.
  4. When the lentils have finished cooking, drain any excess liquid. Sprinkle lentils with salt and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add carrot ribbons, crumbled feta, and dressing. Mix thoroughly. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold later.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cheryl
  • Amy G.
    Amy G.
  • Jen Blake
    Jen Blake
  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • Niknud

14 Reviews

KaJo June 8, 2020
This was Fantastic! The carrots really made a lovely texture + sweetness balance to the rest. We used homemade chicken stock and due TP pantry limitations homemade Za'atar (minus sumac & sesame). We will make this many more times.
Marcia March 17, 2020
added to short list of easy delicious side or meals...great flavor, textures and easy....used for vegetarian meal so veggie stock instead of chicken....
Cheryl April 1, 2017
Really great! I made it vegan by substituting homemade vegetable broth for the stock and store-bought almond nut "ricotta" for the feta. I liked that the warm lentils softened the carrot noodles. I made my own za'atar since I had sumac on hand. Next time I might add a bit of lemon or lemon rind. Used the leftovers in a salad grain bowl today.
Amy G. March 1, 2017
I somehow ended up with tons of carrots and needed something interesting to make - this turned out so well! I had to make a couple substitutions in my homemade za'atar (no sumac, no lemon zest, but i had a tiny lime and some lemon pepper seasoning... i know, i know!) but I'm sitting here eating a delicious dinner and definitely pumped for lunch tomorrow! PLUS I was able to use up this bag of lentils I've had forever!!! Thanks Christopher!
Jen B. March 5, 2016
Vegetable stock is more appropriate for a vegetarian dish.
Christopher K. July 9, 2019
Yes, good catch.
ghainskom March 4, 2016
Very nice with carrot zoodles. Simple to make yet complex enough in flavors: the blandness of the lentils, the saltiness of the feta, the crunch of the carrots and the zing in the dressing. Perfect for lunchtime in the office.
Renee B. March 3, 2016
Do you think that this would work with Garam Masala instead of za'atar? I don't have any but have all of the other ingredients. I'll try za'atar in the future but would like to make the dish without today if possible. It sounds and looks delicious.
Christopher K. March 3, 2016
I think it would be a totally different recipe with Garam Masala. It's definitely worth trying with za'atar when you get a chance. Garam Masala could be interesting. If I did that, I might select different ingredients for the vinaigrette. Feel free to adapt the recipe to make it your own!
Laura415 March 4, 2016
If you want to sub in something else because you can't get zataar try using sour flavors you have on hand. A little lemon +zest could give you the sour flavor of sumac along with added sesame and thyme. If it was me I would use a bit of chopped preserved lemon rind and a touch of the juice plus sesame seeds and fresh or dried thyme. Zaatar is pretty in this dish and more subtle than lemon but it would be fine without it.
Renee B. March 13, 2016
Thank you Christopher and Laura. I somehow missed your responses and in the meantime bought some Zaatar. I discovered your replies while reviewing the recipe and assembling ingredients. Made it last night to take to a neighbor's dinner party. Big hit. I'm now a za'atar fan. I used Red Bliss potatoes, not a medley. Mine took longer to brown. Next time I'll increase the temperature to 450 which is what I use for another roasted potato recipe.
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 24, 2015
Looks like a winner to me!
Niknud October 14, 2015
Did someone say ZOODLE MAKER? May fudge the feta but I've got some goat cheese. Extra bonus points for already having za'atar! This looks ridiculous - congrats on the win, Christopher!
aargersi October 14, 2015
Perfect eat some now save some for lunch dish - and I am SO making my carrot ribbons on my ZOODLE MAKER! Congrats on the wild card!