This Charred Cabbage and Lentil Salad is a really delicious and heart yet light meal, that packs so much flavor! From caramelized onions, to kalamata olives and a tangy dressing, there is lots to crave about this satisfying salad.
It’s great room temperature or warm too, and is perfect for a meal prep or for entertaining. In other words, it’s the ultimate comforting and versatile meal that will certainly hit the spot every time!
I just love a room temperature salad, especially at this time of year. They are super cozy and make for a really satisfying meal — at least how I make them! Packing your salad with nutrients and hearty ingredients will make for a delicious meal that will keep you satisfied for longer.
This Charred Cabbage and Lentil Salad has so many of my favorites one place. From kalamata olives, to caramelized onions, and sweet sauteed carrots. There’s just SO much great flavor going on here. Then the dressing brings all that goodness together.
Preparing the Red Cabbage
For this dish, slice the red cabbage thin, but not too thin. You don’t want a mandolin thinness here, but a bit thicker so that they will hold up to a bit higher heat when you’re cooking. This way, the cabbage will get a bit charred and smoky during cooking. Plus, the cabbage can also hold its own in the salad.
You can use green, brown or black lentils for this dish. The main point with your lentils is that you want to only cook them until they’re cooked through, kind of like the concept of being “al dente” for pasta. Softer, mushier cooked lentils may be great in some other dishes.
But for this Charred Cabbage and Lentil Salad, you definitely want to avoid over-cooking the lentils. We even go the extra steps of draining away any excess liquid when they’re finished cooking, then spreading them out on a sheet pan / baking tray as they cool a bit. This will help avoid any mushiness.
Some items that are helpful for dishes like this
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This meal takes a bit of slicing and dicing, so it really helps to have a good cutting board to make life a bit easier.
The olive oil is going to be important for this dish, as it’s used both for cooking the carrots and red cabbage, and also as part of the dressing. Make sure you have a good one!
Charred Cabbage and Lentil Salad
- 1 1/2 cups dry lentils
- 3 cups vegetable broth for cooking lentils
- 3 cups red cabbage sliced
- 3 large carrots diced small
- 1 small onion sliced
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp za'atar seasoning
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 2 tsp agave
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- In saucepan, add lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low simmer, covered until lentils are al dente. Do not overcook. Drain any excess liquid, and spread out on a baking tray to cool.
- Meanwhile in a large pan, add 1 tbsp oil and onions. Add salt and garlic powder, and cook until onions are translucent, stirring often. Add the 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and cook another 5 minutes until onions are browned, adding bit of vegetable broth if getting too dry.
- In separate skillet, cook carrots in a bit of oil for 2-4 minutes until just crisp-tender. Add cabbage to the pan, sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, oregano and parsley, and cover. After 3 minutes, stir, and cook another 5 minutes. When cabbage is crisp-tender and slightly browned, remove from heat.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together. Add the cabbage, carrots, olives, along with the cooked lentils. Stir gently.
- Just prior to serving, squeeze lemon juice over top of the salad.