Lentil, Lentil Sprout & Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette by Chef Michael Smith

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Total time: 35 Minutes

Servings: 4-6

The earthy flavour of lentils is always comfortable with bacon, especially in this beautifully flavoured salad. Bacon does double duty adding lots of crunch while flavouring the dressing. As a bonus you can also grow your own lentil sprouts as a crunchy sweet topping for this or any salad.

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Recipe by

Chef Michael Smith

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    For the Lentils

    4 cups (1 L) or so of water

    1 cup (250 mL) of lentils, green, black Beluga, or French Du Puy

    ½ teaspoon (2 mL) of sea salt

    For the Dressing

    4 slices of bacon, chopped

    A big splash of water

    2 tablespoons (30 mL) of any vinegar (red wine/cider)

    1 tablespoon (15 mL) of your favourite honey

    1 teaspoon (5 mL) of Dijon mustard

    For the Salad

    1 red onion, thinly sliced

    A 16-ounce box (454 g) of fresh baby spinach

    A few handfuls of fresh lentil sprouts


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water, lentils, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and continue cooking until the lentils are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Strain off any excess water and cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, place your saucepan over medium-high heat.Toss in the bacon then pour in enough water to just barely cover it. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon. As the water simmers the bacon will begin to cook. Then as the water evaporates the bacon will render, releasing its fat, and will crisp as the fat left behind heats past the boiling point of water. Stir and be patient, about five or six minutes. If you like, pour off half or so of the bacon drippings. Turn off the pan’s heat, whisk in the vinegar, honey and mustard. For maximum flavour stir up all the crispy golden bits in the pan.
  2. Toss the cooked lentils in the bottom of a big salad bowl. Pour the bacon dressing over the works. Add the onions, spinach, and sprouts and toss everything together. Serve and share!

© Chef Michael Smith