I needed a salad to serve with my first attempt at a smoked brisket so went looking for my bag of black beans so I could make black bean salsa but there were none there. There were French lentils which are pretty good for salads so I went with them and a nice dressing. This is good, keeps well and could almost be a meal in itself.



  • 2 ¼ cups/1x375g packet lentils
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup sultanas, chopped
  • 1/3 cup capers, chopped
  • Other things to be added before serving including basil, parsley, coriander, toasted nuts (walnuts, pine nuts,  seeds etc), crumbled feta, finely chopped vegetables like zucchini, capsicum, cauliflower, carrot etched.

Vinaigrette dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup or coconut sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp French mustard
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  1. Make dressing into a jar with a screw top, shake well and put aside. There will be left overs that can be used later.
  2. Chop the onion, sultanas and capers and put in a large bowl.
  3. Cook lentils according to instructions on the packet, or rinse thoroughly first then cook at a simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  (test regularly and stop cooking when it is al dente).
  4. When cooked rinse the lentils well and drain, leaving them still warm then place them in the bowl with the chopped onions, sultanas and capers.
  5. Add enough dressing to coat all the ingredients, toss well and refrigerate until needed.
  6. Put the portion that will be needed for a serving into a separate bowl then add other ingredients. Stir together and serve. 

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