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I'm an inveterate saver of recipes, and the type of cook who riffs off an idea or ingredient or the contents of the refrigerator and pantry to dream up dinner.

Cookbooks abound in our house, to the point where we are forced to periodically purge and donate a bunch to the library. I find that I don't use them much anymore, preferring to search online for ideas about using an ingredient or a dish want to make. They are helpful inspirations, and the ones I have kept are those that contain multiple favorite go-to recipes. One of my all time favorites is the Fish Market Cookbook, written by a dear friend, Dean Betts, who taught me about the amazing pleasures of perfect ingredients, simply prepared.

Then there are 3-ring binders filled with recipes torn out of magazines or gathered from friends and food tastings at the grocery store. Bob and I both love to cook, and it says something (not sure what) about a couple who each have their own collection of recipe notebooks. Mine used to take up several feet of valuable bookshelf space, and finally I realized my cooking interests have evolved, and I am no longer even interested in making most of them. I purged those too, and transferred the important stuff to an online app called Evernote, where everything is at my fingertips on any of my devices, and I no longer need to keep track of the various sizes and splattered states of recipe cards and magazine pages. Now when I find a recipe online or in a magazine or newspaper, I save a digital copy to my recipe files in Evernote. When I hear about a new cookbook I can't live without, I download it to my Kindle app, so I can use it from any of my devices. Bob still keeps his own recipe notebooks, and still uses the cookbooks, so we are a redundant household....

The other day this recipe for TABBOULEH STYLE LENTIL RADISH SALAD from one of my favorite idea sites, Gourmande in the Kitchen, piqued my interest and Saturday's supper became a simple meal of baked salmon and this salad. It was the perfect combo of interesting flavors, crunch and self-congratulatory good nutrition. We loved it, and are going to eat the leftovers for lunch!  Thank you, Silvie Shirazi, for the inspiration!

Serves serves 4-6


Sylvie Shirazi

Filled with fresh herbs and crunchy radishes, this lentil salad is a spring inspired twist on traditional tabbouleh.

20 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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  • 3 Tablespoons/45ml fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons/45ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8th teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated on a microplane
  • 1 cup/144g French lentils (place lentils in filtered water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, cover and place in the fridge for 7-12 hours to pre-soak if desired to make lentils more digestible and reduce cooking time)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 small green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chives, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of radishes, finely chopped
  • 1 medium head of broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup/28g sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted


  1. Place broccoli in a steamer basket over a small saucepan of water. Bring to a simmer; cover and steam for 3-4 minutes (until crisp-tender). Coarsely chop broccoli and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Rinse lentils in filtered water and drain. Combine the lentils, garlic clove, and bay leaf in a large pot and cover with twice their volume of cold filtered water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until just tender (about 15 minutes if pre-soaked or 20-25 if not), be careful not to overcook. Drain and remove garlic and bay leaves. Rinse in plenty of cold filtered water and drain thoroughly.
  4. Add lentils, chopped herbs, radishes and broccoli to the dressing and toss to combine. Top with toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds and serve.


Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan

Cook's notes: I didn't presoak the lentils, and I didn't cook them very long. I brought them to a boil, simmered for about 5 minutes covered, and then turned off the heat while I took a shower. When I cam back a half hour later, they were perfectly al dente, and I drained them and saved them for assembling the salad later in the day. A lover of FLAVOR, I tasted the dressing and added more cumin, garlic and cayenne to taste. Since my chives are just beginning to think about coming up, I dumped in a couple of extra green onions, and I used Dr. Bob's Fennel Salt in place of the plain sea salt.