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This healthy date, carrot and lentil salad recipe is flavored with a spiced preserved-lemon dressing. While most salads taste best when freshly assembled, lentil salads appreciate time for the flavors to marry so try to make it at least a few hours ahead if you can. Bring the salad to room temperature before serving and adjust salt if needed.


Recipe Summary

40 mins


Preserved Lemon Citrus Dressing
Lentil Salad


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare dressing: Cook paprika and cumin in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Whisk in 1/3 cup oil, then stir in preserved lemon peel (or lemon zest).

  • To prepare salad: Place lentils in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Stir in salt and continue cooking until just tender, but not at all mushy, 5 to 10 minutes more. Drain well.

  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Add the lentils, vegetables and dates to the dressing; stir until well combined. Stir in mint just before serving.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; stir in mint just before serving.

Preserved lemons are lemons that have been soaked in a salt-lemon mixture for at least 30 days. Their salty sourness is a signature flavor in Moroccan dishes. Find them at specialty-food stores or online at mustaphas.com.

We like French green lentils instead of brown when we want lentils that hold their shape (instead of breaking down) when cooked. Look for them in natural-foods stores and some supermarkets.

Nutrition Facts

about 2/3 cup
250 calories; protein 6.3g; carbohydrates 38.7g; dietary fiber 8g; sugars 22.6g; fat 9.3g; saturated fat 1.3g; vitamin a iu 4624.6IU; vitamin c 8.1mg; folate 120.7mcg; calcium 55.1mg; iron 2.9mg; magnesium 45mg; potassium 558.4mg; sodium 148.5mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

1/2 starch, 1 1/2 fruit, 1 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 2 fat