This summer lentil salad with poached eggs is crunchy, fresh, and tangy. It’s packed with protein and makes for an easy, satisfying packed lunch or super-quick weeknight dinner.
This past Friday was the last day of the school year. Huzzah! It doesn’t feel completely like summer break yet because Cassian is going to camp for a couple of weeks, but I can smell summer in the air. I’m eagerly anticipating long afternoons at the pool and lazy evenings at the splash park. Weekdays spent in our pajamas reading favorite books, watching favorite movies, and baking favorite cookies. Very soon, the best of summer produce will start overflowing the stalls of the local farmers market. Fresh, fleshy tomatoes. Juicy stone fruit. Sweet summer corn. Until then, I’m enjoying the bounty of this early summer we’re experiencing, like this fresh and tangy summer lentil salad with avocado, mango, cucumber, and a poached egg.
I made this for lunch when a friend stopped by last week and start to finish it took just about 30 minutes. That’s sort of an investment for standard lunch fare, but undressed this salad holds up well and would make a terrific packed lunch. And it’s a no brainer for a light, easy weeknight dinner. This summer lentil salad is packed with protein (thanks eggs, avocado and, of course, lentils) and will keep you feeling full and satiated straight through dinner. The cucumbers and radishes lend a satisfying crunch, while the mango and mint keep it feeling fresh and sweet.
Summer Lentil Salad Recipe Notes
I use from-scratch lentils for this recipe because I prefer them just barely undercooked in a salad. I’m intrigued by the Fully Cooked Lentils I’ve seen at Trader Joe’s and I think they would be an excellent substitution for an even faster prep time.
This salad transitions beautifully to summer produce. Swap out the radish for cherry tomatoes, and try peaches in place of the mango. To stretch this salad a bit further, toss it with a couple bunches of watercress or baby arugula.
If you’re not a fan of lentils, this would make a lovely grain salad with a nutty variety like farro or barley.
Early Summer Lentil Salad with Poached Eggs
Summer Lentil Salad
- 1 c. lentils
- 2-3 c. water or broth
- 2 garlic cloves smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- sea salt to taste
- cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 mango diced to ½”
- 1 avocado diced to ½”
- ½ english cucumber halved and thinly sliced
- ½ bunch radishes halved and thinly sliced
- ¼ c. fresh mint
- 4 fresh eggs
- 1 tsp white vinegar
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ½ c. olive oil
- Sea salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
Rinse the lentils, removing any discarded or broken beans. Add the lentils, garlic, and bay leaf to a medium sauce pot along with enough liquid to cover the lentils by an inch or two. Turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, but not mushy. They should retain a bit of a bite. Drain the lentils, discarding the bay leaf and garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the poached eggs. Bring small pot of water (4-6 cups) to a simmer over medium heat and then line a plate with a few paper towels. When the water comes to a rapid simmer, add 1 tsp white vinegar to the simmering water. Crack an egg into a ramekin. With a wooden spoon, stir the simmering water to create a whirlpool, and then gently tip the egg, whites first, into the center of the whirlpool. Set the timer for 3 minutes and do not touch the egg. When the timer goes off, remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon and place on the paper towel lined plate. Bring the water bath to a simmer again, and repeat the poaching process with the remaining eggs, setting each finished egg aside on the paper towel.
While the lentils are simmering and the eggs are poaching, prepare the mango, avocado, cucumber, radish, and mint.
Make the vinaigrette. In a small lidded jar, add the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and shake vigorously until combined.
Toss the lentils with the mango, avocado, cucumber, radishes, and mint. Add the vinaigrette and toss. Divide the salad between four plates, top each with a poached egg and serve immediately.