Black Lentil & Sweet Potato Bread Salad
Recipe type: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
This hearty, wintry take on the Panzanella salad makes a great light entree, lunch, or side dish.
  • 3 medium Sweet Potatoes (or Yams), peeled and cut into ¾ in cubes
  • 4 c. Bread, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 c. Black Lentils (also known as Beluga Lentils), rinsed
  • 2 small chunks Pancetta (optional)
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 6 Cloves
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4 c. Frisee
  • Nuts or Seeds (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, or sunflower seeds would all be nice), optional
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Toss cubed sweet potatoes with olive oil to lightly coat and season with salt. Roast until tender and slightly caramelized, stirring once or twice to prevent sticking, about 30 minutes.
  2. To cook the lentils, heat a teaspoon or so of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add Pancetta, if desired, and sauté until golden and crisp around the edges. Cut the onion in half and stud with cloves. Sauté the onion until it begins to brown. Add the lentils, 1½ cups of water, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves and simmer until tender, 20-25 minutes. Remove onion halves, cinnamon, bay leaves, and Pancetta. Drain excess water if necessary and season with salt and pepper.
  3. During the final 15 minutes that the potatoes are roasting, place torn bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden and crisp around the edges.
  4. Combine roasted sweet potatoes, cooked lentils, and toasted bread in a large salad bowl, along with frisee. Toss with olive oil and vinegar, starting with 1½ tablespoons of each, adding more if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle in nuts, if desired.
I prefer a nutty, whole-grain bread for this salad. The salad is at its best served while it is still slightly warm or at room temperature.
Recipe by strawberryplum at