A delicious summer salad with cherries and black lentils, topped with a cherry vinaigrette. Summer in a bowl!
The other day I was at Whole Foods, and the first thing I saw when I walked in was…drumroll…CHERRIES! Yay! And they were on sale!
I love fresh cherries. They’re only around for a short season, so I make the most of it and buy them often. I generally just eat them plain, but last week I just had this urge to make a big green salad with lentils and cherries, and it was so good.
It’s nice to find new ways to eat summer fruit, isn’t it? I would usually eat cherries in a dessert, or plain, as I mentioned, but they were a great addition to this light and delicious salad.
Are sweet cherries good for you?
Cherries contain tons of potassium, vitamin C, and beta carotene, and are great for lowering blood pressure and fighting cancer. They are also a good source of fiber and antioxidants.
What are pepitas?
Pepitas are roasted pumpkin seeds. They are a great substitute for nuts in a salad, trail mix, or nut free granola.
Are pepitas good for you?
Pepitas are a great source of magnesium, tryptophan, zinc, and vitamin K, and are good for protecting against osteoporosis, too! The magnesium in pepitas can help you get a good night’s sleep.
What are the health benefits of lentils?
Lentils are full of magnesium, folate, and fiber, making them a great choice for a healthy heart and a healthy digestive system.
All of these ingredients combined make this one super salad that’s bursting with health benefits.
Can I use a different type of lentil in this recipe?
I used black lentils, but you could also use French green lentils or regular green lentils. I wouldn’t try red lentils, because they are smaller and will get quite soft and mushy when you cook them. That’s fine for lentil soup, but not great for a salad.
This is an easy salad to put together – the most difficult part is pitting the cherries. The dressing is made of a few ingredients and requires a minute in the food processor to blend it, resulting in a beautiful deep pink vinaigrette.
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Summer Salad with Cherries and Black Lentils.
- 1 cup sweet cherries halved and pitted
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup black lentils picked over and rinsed
- ½ cup unsalted pepitas
- 6 cups spring salad mix
For the Dressing:
- 8 sweet cherries pitted
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
Place the lentils in a small pot with enough water to cover them by one inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain off extra water and set lentils aside to cool.
Place the 8 cherries, white vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, organic cane sugar, salt and pepper in the food processor or blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and emulsified. Set aside.
Place the spring salad mix, cherries, cooled lentils, red onions, and pepitas on a large platter or in a bowl. Drizzle with the cherry vinaigrette before serving.
You can use Rainier cherries if you prefer.
If you would rather use a different kind of lentil, try green lentils or French green lentils.
You can keep this salad in the refrigerator for 2 days. It is best eaten fresh.
I think you’ll love this summer salad – it’s:
- fresh and healthy
- full of delicious summer flavors
- colorful and vibrant
- naturally gluten free and vegan
This recipe was originally published in June 2015. It has been updated with more tips.
Beautiful!!! This salad looks great!
Thank you so much!
Brittaney @ Sips and Snacks
Wow! This looks like a great salad! I love that you used cherries, I usually eat them by themselves or with an almond and a bite of dark chocolate (my favorite snack), but I am dying to try them on a salad now!
Oooh, I love cherries and nuts and chocolate! A girl after my own heart! :)
Cara's Healthy Cravings
So beautiful!! I just love the flavour combinations here.
Thank you so much!
Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil)
I am a total cherry freak – never have thought to pair them with lentils – YUM!
Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven
Oh my goodness, Kelly! This salad is absolutely beyond gorgeous! I’m just loving all the little pops of color here and there and all those fresh cherries are speaking my name!
This salad is just gorgeous! I haven’t had any fresh cherries yet this season, but now you’ve got me craving them!
This salad looks so refreshing and I love all the vibrant flavors and textures! Pinning!
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely
GAH! I love cherries! Was so excited when they were at the farmers market. I think I spent like $20 on them. Worth it! Loving this salad Kelly : )
I know! They are expensive, but worth the splurge, right?
Love your photo background!
Thank you, Whitney!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
I love the combination of cherries and lentils, Kelly! So creative! This salad looks absolutely delicious!