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Overhead photograph of lentil and spinach salad with flakes of salmon in a dark blue bowl with a gold fork. Dressing set off to the side in a bowl with a spoon.

Salmon Spinach French Lentil Salad with Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette

  • Author: Lauren
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings (9 cups salad and 1/3 cup vinaigrette) 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French


Savory French Lentil Salmon Spinach Salad with crispy pan seared salmon, a simple toasted cumin vinaigrette, and dried cranberries for some chewy sweetness. This lentil salad is hearty, full of flavor and healthy.


  • ½ cup dry du Puy lentils, picked over
  • 1 pound skin-on salmon fillet
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
  • 5 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey 


  • 8 cups spinach (one 8-ounce bag)
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallot
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese


Rinse lentils in a fine-mesh strainer, then cook according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of salt and pepper mixture in bottom of a large nonstick skillet. Arrange salmon, skin side down, in skillet; heat to medium high and sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper over top.

Cook salmon until fat begins to render and skin starts to brown, 6–7 minutes. Flip, cook until flesh side starts to brown, 6–8 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Remove skin and flake into 1-inch pieces. 

Meanwhile, combine oil and cumin seeds  in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently until fragrant and toasty, 4–5 minutes. Off heat, add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Let oil cool in pan (garlic will crisp up). Transfer oil to a bowl and whisk in vinegar, Dijon, and honey; season with salt and pepper. 

Drain lentils. Combine spinach, parsley, dried cranberries, and shallots; divide among four serving bowls. Top each salad with lentils, salmon, and goat cheese; drizzle with vinaigrette.


Cooking lentils: When cooking with lentils, it is important to pick through them and discard any stones or debris before cooking. I like to spread the lentils on a baking sheet to pick through, as it makes the process easier. I also recommend rinsing the lentils in a fine-mesh strainer prior to cooking.

Keywords: lentil, spinach, salmon,

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