Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Pomegranate for Sukkot

Lenils with Walnuts and Pomegranate

I know Sukkot ends on Wednesday so I am sort sneaking this one in under the wire, but as typically happens I start to get a little Jew’ed out by the time Simcha Torah rolls around. I already managed to get in some delicious trayfe-on-trayfe antidote in the form of mussels with pork belly at the latest hot SF pop-up, Mission Chinese yesterday. It was delicious and was accompanied by some blogger dick-wagging with my friend Eric, over who has more hits from the more obscure reference. His is the Stout Scarab, which is the essentially the original mini-van and what he claims is a highly efficient use of vehicular space. I have my doubts.  Mine are pashtida and schug (thanks Daf) . I am only mentioning this because it allows me to link to his high traffic post multiple times in an attempt to claim to be a source of his traffic and ultimately get the last word. (Insert evil laugh here)

Sukkot is one of those odd Jewish holidays that I still manage to learn something new about every year. This year I learned while meals should be eaten in the Sukkah, there are actually only six things that may not be eaten outside of the Sukkah. Weirdly, they are the five grains that constitute chametz (or the forbidden grains) for Passover, wheat, barley, spelt, rye and oats, along with grape products. This is further solidifying my believe that while Sukkot celebrates the harvest, Passover only exist because we ran out of the harvest from the fall.

At any rate I was looking for something with grains or legume and pomegranate for Sukkot. I had a bag of dry lentils left over from side dishes for lamb and luckily Cooks Illustrated provided inspiration yet again.

The original recipe call for cilantro, but I loath cilantro so I adjusted the recipe a bit for my taste. Also, if you start with a whole pomegranate, I find the underwater method of seeding to be the easiest and least messy. As long as you are at it you may as well get two and make some Pomegranate infused vodka for some Simcha Torah indulgence.

Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Pomegranate

adapted from Cooks Illustrated


  • 1cup lentils , picked over and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2cups water
  • 2cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 garlic cloves , lightly crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 shallot , minced
  • 1/3 cup walnuts , toasted and chopped coarse
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate


  1. Place lentils and 1 teaspoon salt in bowl. Cover with 4 cups warm water and soak for 1 hour. Drain well.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place drained lentils, chicken broth, water, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt in medium saucepan. Cover and bake in oven until lentils are tender but remain intact, 40 to 60 minutes. While lentils are in oven, whisk oil and lemon juice together in large bowl.
  3. Drain lentils well; remove and discard garlic and bay leaf. Add drained lentils, shallot,  half of walnuts, and half of pomegranate seeds to dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle with remaining walnuts and pomegranate seeds, and serve.


Filed under Fruit and Vegtables, Jewish, Pasta and Grains, Sukkot

7 responses to “Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Pomegranate for Sukkot

  1. NuMystic

    Being that I love cilantro would you mind sharing what you adjusted from the original recipe so I can try it that way as well? Thanks!

  2. sluggh

    I just tried this with gorgonzola. Pretty great.

  3. sluggh

    Don’t understand the “2 cups water” in the ingredients and how they’re supposed to be incorporated into the instructions.

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