A year and a half ago, my brother-in-law’s Golden Retriever, Benny, was struck by a car. He was already an older dog and I was worried that he wouldn’t be able to bounce back from a broken leg and the long recovery that followed. The first few months of recovery and rehab were challenging on Benny and the immediate family. To be honest, I didn’t know if he would make it through the long winter. He had to be carried up and down the front porch stairs so he could do his business outside and there were a couple slips and falls over the winter. Every time I saw him at family gatherings, I’d feel myself well up with tears as I sat on the floor giving him rubs. On one hand, he was struggling with mobility, but on the other hand, his resolve to live out his normal life never once faltered. Benny remained happy as he always was, thumping his tail on the floor whenever we’d walk by. He never wanted to miss out on any excitement!
Now it’s been over a year and a half since Benny’s accident and it’s been amazing to witness his determination to lead a normal life. Over Easter we were at my in-laws and Benny was there as he always is, hobbling along with us outside just as happy as could be. No one was more happy to be outside in the beautiful spring weather than Benny. He wasn’t going to let a bad leg or old age hold him back from experiencing all of his favourite things. After dinner, he’d collapse on his favourite rug for the night, both exhausted and purely content. Sure, he isn’t as speedy as he was in his younger years, but this is his new normal and he doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about it. I felt ashamed of myself for ever once doubting that he would overcome this. Dogs like Benny (and animals in general) are great reminders to make the best of any situation and to find joy in life’s simple pleasures. Our society loves to put animals “below” us, but we can learn so much from them.
And while I’m on the topic of inspiring dogs, you should watch this two-legged dog video if you haven’t seen it yet. Unreal!
Roasted Potato and Asparagus Lentil Salad with Tangy Mustard-Lemon Dressing
Protein-packed and perfect for spring, this French green lentil salad makes a lovely side dish, main course, or spring potluck dish. Roasted potatoes and asparagus are folded into the salad along with a tangy mustard-lemon dressing. I also roasted the red onion, but I think next time I might leave the onion raw for a fresh crunch. I imagine this salad would also be fantastic with some cooked quinoa mixed in or using any seasonal vegetables you prefer. The dressing makes a lot - 2/3 cup - so I prefer to stir in half of the dressing into the salad and then serve the rest of the dressing on the side to drizzle on top. This dressing is inspired by one I came across in It's All Good.
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 cup uncooked French green lentils/du Puy lentils (about 2 1/2 cups cooked)
- 3 medium yellow potatoes, diced (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- handful minced fresh dill, for garnish (optional)
FOR THE DRESSING (makes 2/3 cup):
- 2 tablespoons coarse seeded/old fashioned mustard (see photo in post)
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
- pinch or two fine grain sea salt or pink salt
- Preheat the oven to 425F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Rinse lentils in a fine mesh sieve. Place lentils in a medium pot along with 3 cups of water. Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer the lentils for about 18-20 minutes, or until tender. Drain off water and season lentils with salt (such as Herbamare).
- Place chopped potatoes on one baking sheet and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon oil. Toss to coat and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Roast the potatoes for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place the asparagus on the other baking sheet (and the red onion if you prefer to roast it too - see headnote) and drizzle with 1/2 tbsp. oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- After the potatoes have roasted for 15 minutes, flip the potatoes and return them to the oven along with the asparagus (and red onion if you are roasting that) for another 12-15 minutes. The potatoes should be golden on the bottom when ready and the asparagus will be tender. Add roasted veggies into a large bowl along with the lentils and gently toss to combine.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by whisking all of the dressing ingredients together. I love a tangy dressing with a bite so I used 4 tbsp. lemon juice. If you prefer a less acidic dressing you might want to add more olive oil or you can also experiment with adding a touch of maple syrup (the sweetness will offset a bit of the bite). It's definitely a dressing you can play around with!
- Pour half of the dressing onto the veggies and lentils in the bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the salad warm with a garnish of fresh dill (optional), with the rest of the dressing served on the side.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
If you aren’t a fan of mustard dressings, I recommend making the Creamy Avocado-Potato Salad recipe in my cookbook (p.107) It’s received great feedback and it’s perfect for spring as well.
Have a fun weekend everyone!
I about fainted…this looks INSANELY good!! I’m all over this baby!
Benny is a good reminder of taking lessons from animals!! And, yes to this salad!
Wow, this looks delicious. I’m pinning right away to make this weekend! I already have the asparagus ready to go :)
Lovely spring salad, Angela! Great side dish for outside picnics, too :)
It was great meeting you and your husband the other day in OG. You should promote your book there. I need to say this, you are as lovely in person as you seem online. I’m glad I decided to say hi. Have a great day.
Hey Jana, It was so nice meeting you too! I hope we bump into each other again soon. Like I said, I’m there all the time. :)
That would be great. Or we can bump into each other at the Milton farmers market. Starting less then a month from now. I like to think you might stop by sometime.
Oh my word Angela!! This looks sooo good! Love the combo of flavors. I may have to make this for my lunch rotation! Yum.
I do adore how our furbabies can teach us more about life than we, the “advanced people” that we are, just don’t get. I’ve got a 14 year old Doxie who is nearly blind but she keeps motoring on just bumping into things and not caring. Just amazing.
Aw, Doxie sounds so sweet.
I’m so glad Benny is feeling better! My fiancee and I love dogs, we think they are the best!
Can’t wait to try this salad. Do you have any recommended substitutes for potato?
This looks ridiculously delicious! I love all of the salads you create, I’m a big fan of using tons of ingredients.
This looks like an incredibly satisfying salad. Think I’ll try it with the beluga lentils I just picked up, and maybe throw in some radishes …. Thanks!
Absolutely lovely salad Angela. Simple and refreshing. Perfect!
This is exactly what I want to eat for lunch everyday! Love lentils!!!
This looks AMAZING. Could you sub in sweet potatoes instead of yellow, or would they be to soft?
Oh, this is happening!
Oh my! That tangy mustard-lemon dressing sounds so good!
The reason why I was drawn to your website, truthfully was because were spitting images of each other :) yes Mrs.Liddon that was a compliment, just in case you need to stop and ponder… During Christmas I would make suggestions to yourself about what I believed were nothing more than positive creative ideas that I would probably verse with yourself about -O and we both no I have tried… Your most beautiful food picture was your Nanaimo Bars the colored popped and it gave me that beautiful feeling of the Halloween ,Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. That’s why I made suggestions. I already read your book and passed it on to someone I new who wanted one.
The most funny classic moment I read from osg was when some one asked you if when buying hemp seeds how to de shell them – Your response O I didn’t no they came with shells. funny stuff… You truly are YOU. We’ve all been through a lot… and are still.
Enjoy your day…
Question: are you using dry lentils?
I know you have been on a mustard kick lately, but I really don’t like it. Any suggestions for an alternate dressing? Everything else looks delicious!
She did suggest making the Avocado Potato Salad from her cookbook. Maybe use that dressing for this recipe
Hi Stephany, if you have the cookbook the avocado potato salad is one of my favs and it’s fairly similar to this recipe only without lentils and such, but you can easily tweak it.
This looks fantastic! I was wondering if you think this would go well over a bed of shredded kale or possibly spinach sprinkled with hemp seeds. This looks amazing as is but i always like to add the extra health kick, post-gym touch. I definitely do not want to alter too much. If you have any suggestions, please advise! Thanks again for your inspiring recipes & posts! :-)
Thanks for a gorgeous, hearty and awesome looking salad! pinned :)
Oh my, this looks SO delicious, I’m definitely going to try this soon. Thank you for the idea!
This looks incredible! Perfect spring dish, and just in time for asparagus season here in the UK, which is probably one of my favorite veggies and one I can only enjoy for a few weeks each year unfortunately :(
I’m going to run to the store and get stuff to make this for dinner tonight! Thanks for the idea!
Lovely salad! (Even though I don’t like asparagus.) Where do you get such pretty cutlery, if I may ask? I can’t seem to find anything nice in the shops.
Thank you! The stuff I use in photos is actually from antique markets :) I use it because it’s very dull and doesn’t reflect in photos.
Nice one Ang!! This looks so great. I love your pictures! As always. I will pin this one for sure. I just wanted to let you know I am running a 10K in Victoria BC and I just looked back at read your post on your visit to Vancouver Island. I live in Campbell River, which is 3 hours away from Vic, but everytime I go there I always bring my camera. I am such a tourist. I even lived there for 2 years and I still can’t get enough. Such a beautiful city and I can’t wait to go to Butchard Gardens again. Thanks for the pics you posted on your trip!
Oh and they have a new restaurant downtown Victoria called Be Love. Their menu is free of meat, dairy, wheat, refined sugar and preservatives. Awesome eh! We are going there for dinner!! :)
So glad you enjoyed the photos!! I can’t wait to go back :) Good luck with your 10k! Sounds like the perfect backdrop.
Oh and Be Love sounds right up my alley…I’ll have to go next time I’m there.
Such a pretty plate. Silly, but sometimes I think food tastes better on pretty plates :)
And yes, we have so much to learn from animals–love is a good start.
My dog Jack just died on Monday from a tumor that couldn’t be removed. But even to the end, he was a trooper! Even though he was obviously in pain, he would still come when we called him and try to chase bunnies in the back yard. Such a good dog.
I’m so sorry for your loss Kristen. Isn’t it amazing what spirit they have even in their final days?
Oh My! I have been planning a salad like this for a few weeks now and you just gave me some more great ideas of ingredients to add to it! I’m also a huge fan of mustard so I can’t wait to try the dressing. It looks amazing :)
What an inspiring story about Benny – brought a big smile to my face :) I love love love lentil salads so am very excited to try this one out!! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
This looks amazing! What a nice spring salad. Can’t wait to try it!
I can’t wait to try this!! Anything with mustard is my favorite :)
What a great idea for a warm salad. So key for these rainy April days !
My 1 year old cat, years and years ago, fell from the 7th floor balcony. She hit her belly and the docs said there’s no hope. Although she did eventually go to cat-heaven, she stayed with us for another 2 months. Animals are amazing, pure, little creatures who are not polluted by the “It’s not possible” type of mentality of humans, hence they really believe everything is possible :)
Oh and the salad rocks! That fresh dill on top is calling my name haha
aw Ana, sorry for your kitty. You are so right – impossible isn’t in their vocab.
Aw what a cute story – it really is amazing how much we can learn from our pets. We had 3 dogs over the course of my childhood and although my lifestyle isn’t really conducive to owning one now, I hope to again soon! This salad looks so lovely and delicious, and thanks for suggesting the dressing swap because as hard as I try, I just can’t bring myself to like mustard! Happy weekend, Ange! :)
I loove anything with mustard in it. Never thought of making anything using mustard myself until now! Where do i buy coarse mustard seeds?…
You can find them at most grocery stores with the other mustard :)
Looks so good! Your recipes just speak to me what can I say?
This looks delicious! I love your book and have already tried a few recipes. But I am loving the compassion you show to animals, the stories about Sketchie, and Benny, you are an inspiration in so many ways!
Thank you Tonja :)
This looks incredible!
Just finished eating this–saw it this afternoon and promptly went to the grocery. LOVE it, it’s super fantastic. All of the indulgent flavors of something that’s bad for you, but leaves you feeling satisfied and healthy. I added honey to the dressing (about a half tablespoon) because I went a little crazy with the lemon. Love love love. :) Thanks so much for sharing!!
Hey Sarah, So glad you enjoyed it (and got to make it so quickly!!) :) Good call on adding sweetener to balance out a bit too much lemon…it always does the trick!
This makes me so excited for spring! I can’t wait to get my hands on some fresh Ohio asparagus and backyard herbs! Thanks for sharing!
This looks like the best mustard dressing! Bookmarking the recipe.
I’m making this right now! I had veggies that needed to be roasted, including potatoes & asparagus, so this came with perfect timing! Thanks!
I hope you’re doing well with baby; I just hit 37 weeks pregnant and have gotten majorly lazy about cooking. I feel great when I eat meals I’ve cooked (most recently, the sweet potato & black bean enchiladas from your cookbook), so I keep dragging myself around the kitchen! Thanks for the inspiration!
Hi Liz, Yes, I’m feeling good – in that sweet 2nd tri spot! I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well. :) Thinking of you!
I LOVE the recipe from It’s All Good – I was going to make it tomorrow actually until I saw this. Can’t wait to try it!
This looks heavenly.
— Alex at cashmerekangaroo.com
This looks simply delicious! and healthy too!
This recipe sounds delicious! Easy and quick, I’m a huge mustard lover!
ANGELA – I have a request! Any chance you can bring back your THINGS IM LOVING LATELY posts? I always loved those posts! Please please please :)
Potatoes are one of my favorite ingredients! The combination of lentils and potatoes is fantastic!
indeed, it does take courage and a determined spirit, for the “golden years”.
benny loves with a great big heart. he wants to stay awhile longer with his beloveds.
the salad looks scrumptious.
Making this tonight – do you think it would work using all dijon mustard (in case i don’t find the grainy one where i live)? By the way, I am loving your cookbook – I’ve made countless recipes from it already – so far I like the 10 spice soup the most!
Hi, do you think it’s possible to switch yellow potato with sweet ones?
I just want to say that I am SUCH a huge fan! You’ve actually inspired me to start a vegan food blog of my own. Your photography always looks so beautiful, would you happen to have any tips about photographing food? I have a little experience with photography but I’m having trouble making my pictures really look good…
Thanks for your kind words! Food photography is really, really tough in the beginning so I can feel your pain. When I first started out, I was so frustrated with my photos. In the end, it took a lot of practice (I’ve been doing it for 5 years now on a regular basis) and lots of reading up about it. I recommend looking at a lot of food photos that you like for inspiration. Play around with styling the food and using props. I also always use natural light. Hope this helps!