Ivory Lentil Salad, Strawberries and Buttermilk

As I am sitting in front of the screen trying to write this post, my mind went blank.

I have been cooking and photographing so many recipes lately that it is hard to remember which recipe I was going to tell you about. “Wait, was it the snapper or the vegetable tart?… Wait, what was I going to talk about?”. It gets confusing.

I also realized that most of my blogging has been set aside for weekend cooking and baking when mom and I spend time in the kitchen together. I hope you don’t mind. I hope that our everyday simple meals are also interesting enough to draw you into the kitchen. I hope so.

So just as we have been doing every Sunday morning, yesterday we headed out to the farmers market. It was sunny, breezy and beautiful. We did our round and got our usual eggs, heirloom cherry tomatoes, radishes and strawberries. Also several kinds of greens and beets.

Do you ever get anxiety after you go to the farmers market? I do. A good kind of anxiety. The kind that makes me want to cook everything at once and photograph it as soon as we get home. The fresher the better.

“Wait, don’t put those away yet” I told my mom. “I need to take photos of them”. She shook her head.

While I was upstairs shooting, she cooked some ivory lentils for lunch. They cook in about 20 minutes and have the perfect texture for a salad. A little bite still left in them. Perfect with spicy radishes, peppery watercress, sweet julienne carrots and a chili and garlic vinaigrette.

Kai Kai Farms had beautiful tiny little strawberries. So sweet. Then I remembered this recipe and decided to adapt it to include buttermilk, millet and a little bit of corn flour for some extra texture.

It was so good. We had it after dinner while playing a game of “Go Fish”.

I also wanted to tell you that I am honored to be listed in Babble’s Top 100 surrounded by such great bloggers. Thank you Babble.com!

Spring Ivory Lentil Salad with Spicy Garlic Vinaigrette

Serves 4

1 cup ivory lentils, rinsed
3 cups cold water
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup radishes, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
2 cups watercress, washed
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp chili flakes
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, water and salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and cool for 5 minutes.

Toss the lentils, radishes, carrots and watercress.

To prepare the vinaigrette, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan. Add the garlic and chili flakes. Cook for 2 minutes or until it starts to get a bit of color. Do not burn the garlic. Add the vinegar. It will splatter so stand back. Turn the heat off and swirl the vinegar into the oil. Pour over the salad. Season wih salt and pepper. Toss and serve.

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100 Responses to “Ivory Lentil Salad, Strawberries and Buttermilk”

  1. shari says:

    Personally, I get so excited when you post that I don’t mind that it’s been a while… also, I LOVE the simple, every day recipes the best. They’re the easiest ones to do! (Like the tortilla des patatas)

    This is another beautifully photographed post, and I can’t wait to try to make the lentils! (LOVE lentils)

    Those little wild strawberries are the best! It’s hard to find them here on the east coast of the US. I’ll probably need to grow my own. :-)

    Thank you for your wonderful blog! And congratulations on your Babble listing!!

  2. MikeVFMK says:

    Your everyday meals are tantalizing! Lentils are a new obsession of mine and I love all your combinations.

    The strawberries jump up right through the screen.

    Pictures are beautiful as always.

  3. I’ve never seen those lentils before! An interesting variety and a lovely salad. The cake must be divine too.



  4. Soma says:

    beautiful as always! Yes farmers market is a good kind of anxiety! you have put it so well.

    I am wondering if these ivory lentils are the similar ones we use in India.(urad dal)? are they a tiny bit slippery when simmered?

  5. Svet says:

    Perfect recipes for begin of sping!

  6. Rowaida says:

    Yummy everything looks delicious the photos are amazing love

  7. Soma- yes, i believe so. They quick really fast and I feel they are less starchy than other lentils? So good.

    Shari- they are hard to find here as well. strawberries seem to be getting gigantic everywhere I look. full of water and no taste. these are delicate and sweet and grown in soil like it’s supposed to be.

    Mike- glad you like the simple recipes best!

    Thanks all!

  8. Your recipes and stories are always interesting Aran! And so beautiful ! Wish I had this “summer light” around here!

  9. Peaches says:

    I’ve never had lentils before perhaps I should try them…

    Friend at Peachy keen

  10. Such lovely colours and gorgeous flavours!

  11. Marina says:

    Desde luego, es siempre una alegría visitar este blog. Las fotografías hablan por si solas…
    ¡Un abrazo!

  12. So imple and good. I get the anxiety part – I wish I can cook up everything the day I get fresh vegetables. This I think is urad dal, which we Indians use in SO SO many ways, simple dals preparation to savory crepes, chutneys, you name it :-)

  13. Colores says:

    Me encatan tus fotos, tus , el estilo! genial me chifla!!! no cambies!!!un besote

  14. I had no idea there is white lentils, must check out :)
    Wonderful recipe and amazing photos!

  15. Congrats and well deserved! And that cake looks amazing and so beautiful.

  16. Skoticus says:

    What you call “everyday simple” the rest of the world calls “gourmet.” Thanks for the delicious recipes. And, your photography is inspirational. I am on the edge of my seat for your book.

  17. Que rico se ve todo! nunca he probado este tipo de lentejas y mira que a mi me encantan, definitivamente probare tu receta!! gracias

  18. Nisrine M. says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever come across white lentils. I’m tempted to find them and experiment with them.

  19. Yolanda says:

    Hola Aran. Tú sabes que por tierras españolas, yo creo que es muy difícil, por no decir imposible, conseguir este tipo de lentejas. Aún las de color naranja, pero estas blancas son de lo más novedoso para mí. ¿Saben igual que las lentejas corrientes?

    Y como siempre con las fotos te has desmarcado a ti misma. ¡Preciosas!


  20. Yolanda- se cuecen mucho antes. son pequenitas y no tienen tanta piel. creo que tienen menos fecula/almidon.

    You guys can order them online. Here’s a good resourcehttp://www.purcellmountainfarms.com/Ivory%20Lentils%20Urad%20Dal.htm

    Thanks all and happy monday!

  21. Marinka says:

    looks good ! I like the strawberry cake

  22. M@risa says:

    These recipes look amazing so as the pictures :)
    Have a goof week!

  23. Great article with nice pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Wait, so how did you adapt it? Yours looks much better than Martha’s. Did you replace milk w buttermilk and flour w millet and cornmeal? Did you use millet or millet flour?

    PS! it might be a good idea to do a post on all these flours out there. You use different stuff a lot but for us, “regular” folk, who’d like to get little healthier. I see different flours but am totally at loss as to what to do with them.

  25. Even when your recipes are simple and “every day” you’re photography is such a joy to look at. It takes me to a place where there are tiny-little strawberries, which are always so much softer and sweeter than grocery store ones!

  26. Chihiro says:

    I can’t wait until we get that kind of produce in New York. Gorgeous.

  27. Your photos make the succulent strawberries and vibrant salad pop out of my computer screen and right onto my tongue. This looks like such a bright meal.

  28. Monica says:

    Gracias por descubrirnos esta nueva variedad de lentejas. Supongo que aquí será tan difícil encontrarlas…en el caso de que no las consiguiese seguiría siendo un placer haber conocido nuevos ingredientes. Me encanta tu vajilla.

  29. I am a flicker stalker turned blog stalker. YOu are one fo the most amazingly talented bloggers, chefs, and photographers I know!

  30. Julie says:

    Hey, I have that exact same pitcher! everyone asks where I got it, and a friend brought it home from Copenhagen for me.

  31. great photography! I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m drooling staring at all these beautiful photos and recipes.

  32. Iratxe says:

    ¡Deliciosas lentejas!, ¿de dónde han salido estas lentejas albinas?. ¡QUÉ RICO!. Bss.

  33. mmmm… que receta más deliciosa, me encanta!! Las fotos son preciosas (como siempre!!) Me llevo la receta con tu permiso.
    Laura (Cocina Homemade)

  34. Carmen says:

    tengo todos los ingredientes!!
    Como puedo adaptar la receta con buttermilk, millet y corn flour? cambio cantida de haria por otra harina y de leche por buttermilk?
    Aqui la fresas son ams bien fresones, grandes y sin sabor pero es lo que hay.

    me encanta lo que posteas, es cocina sencilla pero no simple y son cosas q me puedo lanzar a hacerlas porque no tienen una infinidad de ingredientes, pruebo cosas nuevas….me encata!
    bs Carmen Zh

  35. Puhvis- I actually changed a lot of things around. Used olive oil instead of butter. Used buttermilk instead of milk. Then used a combination of millet, corn and superfine brown rice flour with a bit of tapioca. I don’t have the recipe anymore. I just played by ear.

    Carmen- nome acuerdo exactamente como cambie las cantidades pero si, utiliza ulna combinacion de harinas que equivalga a la cantidad total de harina de trigo.

    Thanks all!

  36. I’ve never seen ivory lentils before – they look so beautiful! Using lentils in salads is one of my favourite ways to use them, but combining them with radishes has never occurred to me! Thanks for the idea!

  37. Sini says:

    Such summery pictures. Oh how I miss summer. And strawberries. Beautiful post, Aran!

  38. Absolutely delicious…I love lentis, crazy about cheese :)
    Definitely my idea of a comfort food.

  39. Manderley says:

    Me encantan estas tartas así, qué ricas se ven las fresas. Las fotos geniales.


  40. peachkins says:

    i love the strawberries and buttermilk!

  41. I love the thick consistency of the strawberry cake, looks delicious!

  42. shaz says:

    Ah, the “wait, I need to take a photo first!” is a very familiar refrain in our house too. Aran, you could just put one single picture with no words in your post and I’d still visit, and leave inspired.

    Congrats on the listing :)

  43. Junglefrog says:

    It doesn’t really matter when you post or even what you post as it is always a pleasure to read and an even bigger pleasure to watch at your gorgeous photos! Just so utterly beautiful it makes me instantly long for long summer days..

  44. I love a lentil-based salad, though I might put it on a bed of arugula since watercrest is hard to come by where I am. Thanks for the idea!

  45. This looks incredibly delicious! I’m adding it to my “must make” list! Thank you!

  46. I’m a garden blogger. My daughter is a food blogger. You can imagine the scene after we get back from the farmer’s market. Lots of photography going on!

  47. I normally use urad dal in curries. never thought about using it in a salad. Great idea!

  48. Anonymous says:

    It’s Spring there?

    Well it’s March here, yes it is. But it’s still minus teens. Which is an improvement from this time last week when it was minus 41.

    Lovely photos. I will set these recipes aside for…Spring.

  49. Shelby says:

    Oooo! I just bought my first carton of pre-spring Strawberries, what a perfect recipe to use them for! Thanks for the inspiration of a healthy, balanced, loving weekend.

  50. Que belleza de fotos Aran…..son preciosas! Y las recetas como siempre exquisitas….Gracias!

  51. Amina says:

    Too bad you didn’t write down the recipe of the Strawberry Cake :( Looks delish.
    I hope you will make it soon again and write the recipe for us!

    Love your blog!

  52. Adelina says:

    This is wonderful! Never seen or heard of white lentils. I need to find them!!!!

  53. Fragolina says:

    Lovely pictures, as always. I was searching for a cake where I can use some strawberries, except of a tart, this one looks great. Simple recipes are always the best.

  54. Colin says:

    Great photos…and nothing better than a farmer’s market to get the cooking creativity going in the morning.

  55. Gorgeous pics as always!!! :) This looks soooo good. Strawberries are one of my favourite fruits! they are so beautiful and soooo delicious!

  56. Deeba PAB says:

    Your life and food are like a breath of fresh air – ever inspiring.

  57. mireya says:

    What a beautiful Saturday brunch with the lentil salad and the strawberry tart, which by the way, is very eye-catching, and prettier than Martha’s. It looks like you added the strawberries half way throuh the cooking process. They still have a fresh look about them.

    Congratulations on being listed in Babbles Top 100.

  58. I am a huge fan of lentils and use them all the time. They’re often highlights of my posts and I wonder if I’m the only one that’s crazy for them. I’m excited to try this new variety (new to me). It’s very exciting.

  59. I have never seen ivory lentils. they are beautiful! I will have to search for them. So pretty in a colored bowl!

  60. cindy* says:

    the ivory lentils are so pretty! and those little strawberries, so cute! i have fond memories of playing go fish and other card games with my grandparents, what a lovely weekend!

  61. What a discovery: ivory lentils! I wonder how they would taste with our mujaddara!

  62. bikim says:

    love that wooden fork!
    gorgeous photos!
    take care,

  63. Tamami says:

    Oh wowwww!! Such lovely pictures!!!! I wish I had your talent!! x

  64. Coco says:

    Aran, I know I speak for everyone when I say we always love your posts no matter how much time goes by in between each one :) We know you are busy busy, especially with a cook book underway. Thank you for taking the time to share with us and thank you to your mother for whipping up such a lovely dish!

  65. Cristina says:

    Everything always looks so beautiful and fresh when you photograph it. Those little strawberries are precious! Congrats on being listed on Babble. :)

  66. This is just lovely.

    I love the combination of flavors – so fresh and perfect for spring.

    Thanks for the recipe and post!

  67. A veces sucede que cuando uno hace tantas cosas, uno se confunde. Esta semana comencé a estudiar de nuevo y me ha pasado lo mismo. Había ido a comprar ingredientes para una receta y ya ni recordaba qué es lo que iba a hacer!

    Como siempre hermosas fotografías y recetas espectaculares.

    Cariños de Chile

  68. meili says:

    I have been following your blog for a while now. but just stalking… I LOVE your photographs! I always love the your dishes and wonder where you get them. like where did you get the blue and red pitcher above and blue and white plate. so beautiful!

  69. Meili- the blue plate is from a few years ago from anthropologie. i think i got it on their sale racks actually. my parents brought the milk jug from europe a couple of years ago. i get all my things from many places. ebay and etsy are also great resources.

    thank you!

  70. Seanna Lea says:

    I’ve never seen the ivory lentils. If I cannot find them, is there another variety of lentil that you would recommend?

  71. a. maren says:

    oo my favorite is the strawberry…is that a clafoutis? it looks wonderful. the salad too.


  72. Warda says:

    - Enjoy your mother Aran and your cooking together in the kitchen. I know I do miss mine a lot as we both continents apart and don’t see each other often.

  73. Lynn says:

    Wow I love your blog! Such great photo’s! :) X.

  74. Stephanie says:

    Oh deliciousness! I am always looking for a new lentil recipe (they are so good for you, and so versatile!), so I will be making this for sure…it’s a breath of spring time! And the strawberry-buttermilk tart looks tempting. Strawberries are about a month away for us (which will come from CA), so I’ll bide my time until then. Thanks for sharing…

  75. Just a little note… I was looking at your images from 2008 till today … what a big leap you took in your photography and styling!!! Impressing!!! I love your images and I also had the chance to try some of your recipes. Even though I cannot find all the ingredients here in Italy… the results are still amazing! Thank you for sharing your art!

  76. Yasemin says:

    Hello from Sweden. Your photos are so inspiring. I really like them.

  77. Oh I just can’t wait for Spring to come so we can go to the farmer’s market.

    Look at all of these lovely ingredients! And what a way to use all of them!

  78. I’ve never had lentils before perhaps I should try them…
    Brad Fallon

  79. Anja says:

    Gorgeous and delicious photos! Those strawberry ones with the blue are like pure summer!

  80. Mahei says:

    What a refreshing salad you have there!! I can feel the textures and crunch of the spicy radishes, peppery watercress, and sweet julienne carrots now and fibrous lentils. Yum!!

    Then you had to add the strawberry cake…ohhh dear. YUM TIME!!

    Thank you for sharing Aran ;)

  81. L. says:

    I adore that strawberry cake – simplicity is often the best.

  82. Richa says:

    This looks yummicious. I am gonna try it today..

  83. Jules says:

    It’s a beautiful spring day in Cambridge (UK) today and the sight of these tiny strawberries has me itching for summer and all the joyful food it brings. Just looking at the photo has been enough to satisfy my craving for today…the image may even get me through few more months until our own strawberries are worth eating. In the meantime, it’s asparagus all the way!

  84. Lauren says:

    I am sitting here eating this for lunch right now, thanks to you! Very delicious. I used green lentils and arugula though (easier to find). I do need to try it with ivory lentils…

  85. Sarah says:

    I just found your blog and I must say I love it! Such beautiful combinations of your food and photography. Great job!


  86. Congratulations on your Babble listing. Incredibly deserved.

    I look forward to every single one of your posts and I can only hope that one day my blog can be even half as good as yours.

    And now a challenge: if you see my recent post, you will see that I adore food. There is a beautiful Key Lime Pie recipe, but unfortunately it is jam-packed with gluten and dairy, things which don’t go down too well with me. Any change of a ‘free from’ version from your talented self?

    And hearts.


  87. Connie says:

    This looks absolutely wonderful! So wonderful in fact that I don’t want to wait for ivory lentils to be shipped to try something similar. (Though I am ordering some. I’m too curious not to.) How does the flavor of ivory lentils compare with that of run-of-the-mill green ones? Do you think this salad would work with green lentils?

  88. How lovely. I am absolutely drawn into your kitchen with these lovely, homely posts – no need to worry there. I have never seen nor tasted ivory lentils – how beautiful! Thank you for introducing me to them, this recipe seems like the perfect place to begin my ivory lentil relationship :)
    Heidi xo

  89. Kenon says:

    I love the recipes and the photos…. You have definitely put some “oompf” back in to me to start creating my own recipes (seriously). I have a question…. During the summer (or any time actually), ow do you think watermelon radishes would working in the recipe instead of plain radishes?

  90. Camila says:

    Hope I can come! Barcelona is not that far and it sounds like a dream!

  91. Can’t wait to try this interesting and tasty salad.

  92. Daca says:

    Really beautiful post. These pictures are great I must say. I will tweet this, hope you don’t mind.

  93. Melissah says:

    I just discovered your lovely blog. I’m just new into blogging this year & have just finished off my own blog on fashion, food, travel & interior design.
    I had a lot of fun putting it together maybe you would like to check it out if you have a spare minute.

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