Meatless Mondays: Lentil and Wild Rice Salad with Poached Eggs

Despite the fact that I’m a vegetable-crazy person, I often forget to put up a post for Meatless Mondays.  I nearly always eat vegetables with eggs or, more often with egg whites, (the dogs get the yolks) for breakfast…

Above: Sauté spinach a minute or two in a teaspoon or two olive oil in a small, nonstick skillet with a little red onion or shallot, crack egg whites only (2-3) evenly on top, season with salt and pepper, and cover, cooking until whites are opaque. Garnish with salsa.   

…but rarely write a recipe or post as the meals seem so simple–like the egg white and spinach omelet above.

Here are a few I have written and posted:

Boiled Eggs on English Muffins with Asparagus and Cheese Sauce–a helpful post Easter recipe or for whenever you have lots of boiled eggs.

Spinach Omelet with Tomatoes, Mozzarella Balls, and Olives (post includes other breakfasts)

“Fried Egg” Skillet with Zucchini and Salsa


BLT Avocado Toast with Poached Eggs

Both lentils and wild rice are favorites of mine, but I especially enjoy them together in this meal … or in my Lentil-Wild Rice Soup:

Leave out the poached eggs, however, and I am also just as happy with this colorful salad all by its lonesome. I give you several options for additions that’ll make your next day lunch nearly perfect, but my favorite is to add diced feta and chopped kalamata olives with couple of good splashes of red wine vinegar. This is perhaps the best point of the entire recipe or post, for what that’s worth. Try this, if only so you can have the leftover piquant happiness:


4-6 servings

This salad lends itself to innovation. Channel your inner creative cook and use what you have on hand or would like to add for vegetables.  The salad leftovers hold up well in the fridge and transport easily for lunches or picnics. Make extra and add protein like tuna, feta and kalamata olives, anchovies, leftover grilled salmon, or shredded chicken. Read through recipe before beginning; you may want to fill the bowls with greens and salad before you poach the eggs, for instance. Instructions for an easier version also included.

  • 1 cup each uncooked wild rice* (washed very well) and brown or green lentils (sorted for stones and rinsed)  –about 4 1/2 cups cooked, total
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Crushed red pepper, optional
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (will be toasted)
  • 2 leeks, white parts and light green parts only, thinly sliced (Split and wash very well).  Can sub one small diced red onion.
  • 1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • Small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality white wine vinegar
  • 4 minced scallions, green and white parts
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced jicama or fennel or water chestnuts
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • Handful chopped fresh parsley –can sub fresh basil
  • 4 cups fresh greens or more as needed
  • 1-2 poached eggs for each serving (see method below**)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (a little less than an ounce), garnish, optional
  • Side:  sliced tomatoes
  1. Cook wild rice and lentils: Add the cup of wild rice to 6 cups of water in a 4-quart pot. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 50-60 minutes, adding lentils for the last 20-25 minutes or so of cooking. (Note: At altitude, I’ll need all of this time or a bit more; you may need less closer to sea level.) When both rice and lentils are tender, drain well. Place them in a very large bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil; season with  1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Add a generous pinch (1/8 teaspoon) of crushed red pepper, if using. Stir well. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. While rice and lentils cook: A. Toast almonds over low heat in a small skillet (set aside when done). B. Sauté leeks and zucchini in a tablespoon or two of olive oil with a pinch each salt and pepper and the dill in a deep skillet over medium heat until very tender, adding garlic for last minute. Turn off and reserve until rice mixture is done, then mix the cooked leeks and zucchini into the warm, seasoned rice and lentils.
  3. Add lemon juice, vinegar, fresh vegetables, almonds, and more olive oil:  Into the rice mixture, stir the lemon juice, white wine vinegar, scallions, celery, jicama or fennel, bell pepper, fresh parsley, and about half of the reserved toasted almonds– keeping out the rest for garnish.  Drizzle with another tablespoon or two of olive oil or more, as needed, to moisten the salad thoroughly. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings, including vinegar and/or lemon juice.
  4. Poach eggs.**
  5. Serve: Add some fresh greens to each shallow bowl or plate, spoon a cup (or more to taste) of the rice and lentil salad evenly over leaves, and top each serving with a poached egg or two. Sprinkle all with a bit of salt, pepper, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if using, along with a few pieces of the reserved toasted sliced almonds. Place sliced tomatoes at side. This salad is tasty at any temperature, though some may prefer warm or hot eggs. (Store leftover salad well-covered in the fridge for 3 days; do not freeze.)

*WILD RICE–Wash this rice really well as follows.  In pot or large bowl, flood the rice with lots of water, swish around several times with hands, and drain; repeat process 4-5 times. Do please use native, hand-harvested wild rice. Easy to order online or even on amazon.  Read more here.  It makes a difference to many good people and to the waterways and the economy of the northern mid-west.

**POACHED EGGS: Heat a covered medium sauce pan or skillet with 3-inches of salted and peppered water to boiling.  Reduce to a bare simmer.  Crack two eggs into a glass measuring cup and tip into the hot water, holding there a few seconds to set them a little, and then gently and slowly releasing the eggs entirely into water. Repeat with next two eggs. Cover and let cook 2-4 minutes or until done to your liking. Remove with slotted spoon/spatula and let the spoon/spatula rest 3-4 seconds on toweling to drain excess water off eggs before adding to salad. Trim excess or scraggly eggs from eggs before serving if desired. I like them au naturel.

EASIER VERSION:  Skip step 3 and leave out the ingredients: wine vinegar – parsley. Add half of the toasted sliced almonds at step 2, and continue at step 4, poaching eggs.  Finish as directed in step 5, but also squeeze a little lemon over each salad.

{printable recipe}

If you liked this, you might also like my

Warm Wild Rice Salad


Sing a new song and cook an egg or two,


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