Asparagus, Orange, & Lentil Salad


Asparagus, Orange, and Lentil Salad leapt off the page at me in the March issue of Southern Living Magazine!

  All you could want in a spring salad~ fresh, light, healthy and pretty enough to serve company!


Lentils are cooked 8 – 10 minutes, al dente, so they remain firm when tossed with a Champagne-Shallot Vinaigrette. I used a citrus champagne vinegar for a little more citrus-y flavor.



1 medium-size fennel bulb

2 large oranges, peeled and sliced 

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

2 pounds fresh asparagus 

1 1/2 cups dried pink lentils, rinsed (I used red)

Champagne-Shallot Vinaigrette

2 cups coarsely chopped assorted lettuce (I used mixed baby lettuces) 

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (I omitted)


Champagne-Shallot Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

2 teaspoons honey

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


Rinse fennel thoroughly. Trim and discard root end of bulb. Trim stalks from bulb, and chop fronds to equal 1/4 cup; reserve stalks and remaining fronds for another use. Thinly slice bulb, and toss with oranges, pepper, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover and let stand until ready to use.


 Meanwhile, cut asparagus tips into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Cut stalks diagonally into thin slices, discarding tough ends. Bring 3 cups water and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain. Pat dry with paper towels.


 Bring 3 cups water and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil in saucepan over medium heat. Add lentils; return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well, and rinse with cold water. Toss lentils with 1/4 cup Champagne-Shallot Vinaigrette.

Combine lettuces, parsley, asparagus, fennel mixture, and fennel fronds in a large bowl; toss with remaining vinaigrette. Spoon lentils onto a serving platter; top with asparagus mixture.

You can find a printable recipe from Southern Living, here.


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  27 comments for “Asparagus, Orange, & Lentil Salad

  1. April 13, 2013 at 5:08 am

    This looks delicious! Southern Living should hire you as their photographer! Your photos of the salad and it’s making are just gorgeous!

  2. April 13, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Looks yummy!

  3. A quiet life
    April 13, 2013 at 8:12 am

    LOVE THIS! All my favorites and so pretty. I never use lentils, do they give a bit of crunch? Looks wonderful, although my food group choice is sugar I do love a good salad~

    • April 13, 2013 at 8:33 am

      Yes they add a little texture & bite to the salad :)

  4. April 13, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Oh this looks so good! Very different and unique combo of ingredients. I can read the same issue of Southern Living and never even see the recipe that you always turn into a star presentation! The salad dressing sounds like a great dressing to make for any salad too. I have never tried lentils in salad, all sounds sooo fresh!

  5. Botanic Bleu
    April 13, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Looks delicious….and with asparagus, lentils, oranges it is hearty enough to be a real meal, not just a side dish!

  6. April 13, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Wow, this is such a pretty salad Mary! Nice and healthy too-enjoy:@)

  7. Linda K.
    April 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    This is a beautiful salad. I love all the O Olive Oil vinegars as well as their Meyer lemon and clementine olive oils.

  8. April 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Looks great! But here in Holland we have had such a cold weather that the prices of asparagus are sky-high. So the salad has to wait until they are cheaper :)

  9. April 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    What a beautiful and interesting salad! I’d never have thought to use lentils in a salad. It looks delicious.

  10. April 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    There is not one ingredient that I don’t love in this beautiful salad! I love it.

  11. Rattlebridge Farm
    April 13, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Beautiful! I pinned this two seconds after I landed on your post. I’m going to look for the vinegar. I once spent an hour looking at bottles at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill, NC.

  12. tyler
    April 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    i like the combination of flavors. great photographs too.

  13. April 14, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Mary this looks so perfect for Spring. Your whole side yard looks perfect for Spring. I need some salads like this to help pare off the winter pounds! And it is so appealing to the eye!

  14. April 14, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Hee, hee two great minds think alike! I love this salad, and even Shelley liked it, and she usually doesn’t eat salads.

    I’ve been using fennel a bit more lately in recipes, and I like it!

    We’re in Tuscaloosa for Shanley Belle’s sorority’s Parents’ Weekend. We’re having so much fun!


  15. April 14, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Love this type of seasonal salads. This one I’ve never made but it looks delicious. I love how pretty it looks. The dressing sounds delish……..

  16. April 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Wow this salad sounds great – will have to try it. Thanks so much.

  17. April 14, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I made this for Easter brunch and it was a big hit!

  18. April 14, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Looks so refreshingly good! Love the sounds of that citrus champagne vinegar!

  19. April 14, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Mary, this is such a pretty salad. Ricki Jill recently made this recipe too. I’m going to give it a try, even thought I’m not a fan of lentils. Your images are gorgeous as always.

  20. April 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Everything you touch, Mary, turns out so pretty! I’m not a big fan of lentils, but your pictures make me want to make that salad. Do you have magic fairy dust?? xo

  21. April 17, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Gorgeous salad…have to make this as my hubby and I love lentils and the combination of the lentils, aparagus and oranges must be wonderful!!…

  22. March 23, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    This salad is absolutely gorgeous! Found you through the Marvelous Monday link party. Hope you’ll stop by and see what I made this week! :)

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