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Roasted Fennel and French Lentil Salad

This hearty fall salad is dressed with a creamy yogurt dressing and topped with sliced Bosc pears and crumbled feta cheese.
a pear, lentil and fennel salad
  • Makes 4 servings
  • Prep Time 1 hour
  • Cook Time 20 minutes for the lentils, 30 minutes for the fennel



  • 1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt (not Greek)
  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 tbs. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup French (or Puy) lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, cubed (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 2 large Bosc pears
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well to blend.
Bring the water, lentils, and salt to a boil in a small pot. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still keep their shape. Drain and let cool.
Cut off the top of the head of garlic to expose the cloves. Place the head of garlic on a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Wrap the foil around the garlic and place in one corner of a large baking sheet.
Place the cubed fennel on the same baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes, then stir the fennel well and roast for 10 minutes longer, until it’s browned in spots and very soft and the garlic is tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool.
Place the pepitas in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Stir the seeds until they start to pop and turn golden brown, about three to five minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Cut the pears into long, thin slices and place in a small bowl. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of lime juice and toss to coat.
Spread the spinach on a large platter or four plates, then top with the fennel, lentils, pears, and feta. Unwrap the head of garlic and squeeze the roasted cloves out of the bulb, then distribute on top of the salad. Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with pepitas, and serve.

For more flavorful, autumn inspired salads, visit “5 Hearty Fall Salads“.

Photography by: Andrea D’Agosto; Prop Styling: Alicia Buszczak; Food Styling: Paul Jackman

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Robin Asbell

Robin Asbell is a Minneapolis-based recipe developer and cookbook author.


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