Orange and Lentil Salad With Fennel

© Bean Beat

This is Cecilia’s favourite custom! She strictly adheres to it every year on New Year’s Eve: eating a large portion of lentils ensures good luck and money for the new year!

Italians, Czechs and people in the southern US also do it. The only thing to remember is to use a type of lentil that does not fall apart when cooked, as the lentils should be well rounded when eaten. Cecilia uses the dark green Le Puy lentil in the orange salad with fennel, dates and pistachios to start the New Year.

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 200 g dried Puy lentils
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 6 dried dates
  • 2 tablespoons pistachios
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • fresh mint or fresh rosemary

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (I always use my homemade pomegranate vinegar).
  • 3 tbsp nut oil
  • salt & pepper
  • optional: fresh horseradish


  1. Rinse the lentils well and bring to a boil in twice the amount of water. Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, until they’re cooked but still somewhat firm to the bite.
  2. Fillet the oranges and cut into slices.
  3. Finely slice the dates and fennel.
  4. Peel and roughly chop the pistachios.
  5. Finely dice the onion. Chop the mint or rosemary.
  6. Mix the cooled lentils with the fennel, orange slices, dates and onions. Sprinkle with pistachios and herbs.
  7. Vinaigrette: season the vinegar with salt and pepper, add the oil. Mix well and pour over the lentil salad.
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