There are few things better than a summer salad, and if you're looking for one that has a little more substance, this recipe from Milk Street is for you.

Simmering the cooking liquid with vegetables and aromatics before adding the lentils infuse the dish with plenty of flavor and keeps the lentils from turning mushy. A whole head of garlic, cooked with the lentils, flavors and thickens the dressing. Pungent Gorgonzola cheese gives the salad sharp contrast, while toasted walnuts added crunch.

It truly is the perfect summer meal. Enjoy!

French Green Lentils With Gorgonzola Makes A Gorgeous Summer Salad
Connie Miller / CB Creatives

Lentil Salad with Gorgonzola


  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic head
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 medium carrots, halved crosswise
  • 1 celery rib, halved crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) French green lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (about . cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped


In a liquid measuring cup, combine the vinegar, shallots, and one teaspoon salt. Set aside. Meanwhile, cut off and discard the top third of the garlic head, leaving the head intact. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high, combine the garlic, water, carrots, celery, mustard seeds, thyme, bay leaves, and one teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the carrot, celery, bay, and thyme.

Return the pot to medium-high and stir in the lentils. Return to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the garlic and set aside. Drain the lentils, reserving the liquid, and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the vinegar-shallot mixture and let cool to room temperature.

Squeeze the pulp from the garlic into a bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water, the oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir the garlic mixture, half of the cheese, the parsley, and half the walnuts into the lentils—taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter and top with the remaining cheese and walnuts.