What’s Cooking at Food First: French Lentil Salad

Marilyn Borchardt | 01.29.2018

Our Food First tradition of sharing and eating vegetarian recipes began prior to our founding in 1975.

In 1971 Food First’s co-founder Frances Moore Lappé published a best-selling book, Diet for a Small Planet; the book is a treatise exposing the fact that there is more than enough food grown to feed everyone. The book and its recipes inspired many to eat lower on the food chain.

When Food First moved to a house in 1993 we began cooking together. We have accumulated many food memories and recipes that we have cooked with the vegetables grown in our front yard paired with proteins including pulses, tofu, eggs, and dairy.

We want to share our favorite recipes in the hope that you will be inspired to cook, improvise, share, and provide feedback.


  • 1 1/4 cup French lentils (these hold their shape better than the more usual brown lentil)
  • 4 2/3 cup water, divided
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1 large portabella mushroom, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups diced tomato
  • 2 scallions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Mixed salad greens

1. Rinse lentils. Place in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil; cook for 25 minutes. Lentils should still be somewhat firm.
2. While lentils are cooking, rinse the quinoa well and bring to a boil in 2/3 cup water; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix mushroom, pepper, tomato, scallions, parsley, and garlic. Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, oregano, and cayenne pepper.
3. When the lentils and quinoa are done, drain well and add to the mixed vegetables. Pour dressing over the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a bed of fresh mixed salad greens.
Serves 6.

Adapted from The Co-Op Cookbook, by Rosemary Fifield (Chelsea Green, 2000). Copyright (c) 2000 by Rosemary Fifield. Reprinted by permission of Chelsea Green.

Stay in the loop with Food First!

Get our independent analysis, research, and other publications you care about to your inbox for free!

Sign up today!

We’ll publish new installments of What’s Cooking at Food First monthly. You can cook the recipe as-is, or add your own creative flair. Take a photo of what you cooked and send us a rating of 1 to 5 stars for the recipe via our recipe feedback form.

Comments are closed here.