Lentil, Apple & Cilantro Salad for a New Year

Since everyone knows I am an honorary Italian, I have adopted the tradition of making lentils for New Year's Day.

The Spanish eat grapes on New Year's Eve, and the Brazilian and Italians eat lentils (usually with sausage or pork). The Japanese eat beans for good luck, the Danish eat cooked greens sprinkled w/ sugar and cinnamon, and some Southerners in the US eat black eyed peas on this day, known as Hoppin' John.

What Not to Eat:
In addition to the mentioned lucky foods, there are also a few to avoid.

Superstition says:

Lobster is a bad idea because they move backwards and could therefore lead to setbacks.
Chicken is also discouraged because the bird scratches backwards, which could cause regret or dwelling on the past. Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away.

You can take all of this with a grain of salt, but I err on the side of caution and eat my lentils on New Years Day!

This salad is a fresh and delicious way to ring in 2013.

This is another nice recipe from the cool book HOME MADE by Dutch blogger Yvette Van Boven.

I find her recipes are sometimes a bit off, might be the English translation, so I adapt them to my taste.

For example, this recipe calls for 3/4 cup of olive oil in the dressing. I think that's a lot of oil for only 1 cup of lentils, no? I also did not feel the need to soak the celery and endive in ice water w/ lemon (it does keep the veggies crunchy). I have never had a problem with my celery being crunchy, so skipped this extra step.

Go ahead and use any type of lentils you like. I love lentils du Puy from France (the blue grey type), but a can of Goya lentils is just fine.

Lentil & Apple Salad (from the cookbook HOME MADE):

1 cup of dried lentils, cooked and cooled
3 stalks of celery, sliced thin
2 heads of endive, cored and sliced into slivers (I used a head of red treviso for color and 1 endive)
1 apple of your choice, sliced into matchsticks (keep the peel on)
handful of golden raisins
handful of fresh cilantro
squeeze of fresh lemon juice


1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt & pepper

Add all the salad components to a big bowl.

Whisk up the dressing with a fork, then pour it over the lentils and vegetables in the bowl. Season with some sea salt & pepper.

Garnish the top with more fresh cilantro and serve at room temperature.

This is one of the most refreshing and bright lentil salads to date!

Try it and enjoy.

Welcome 2013.

I wish all of my wonderful readers a happy and HEALTHY New Year!


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Anonymous said…
Same to you, Ms. Snacks!
Ciao Chow Linda said…
Yes, you're our honorary Italian lady. The salad looks great, and I agree that sounds like way too much olive oil. I just bought some really dark black lentils that are teensy tiny and can't wait to try them out.
Eileen said…
Happy New Year, Stacey! Looking forward to a 2013 full of your posts!
Joanne said…
What a pretty delicious healthy way to kick off the new year!
Jonny & Amy said…
That looks outstanding. I love citrus at this time of year - it's traditional in a lot of places to gift clementines throughout the 12 days of Christmas - something to do with the relationship between citrus having a certain number of segments and something biblical, I think. Anyway, even if it werent' traditional, lentils, salad and fruit are playing a big part in our new year's resolutions as a helpful detox!

Happy New Year, Stacey!
SarahB said…
I made my lentil soup last night! But this salad looks like a keeper!
This looks great! Going to try today because I have cilantro!
Oui Chef said…
This is exactly the kind of dish my body is craving these days after some SERIOUS holiday indulging. Happy New Year!