Ukrainian Lentil Salad with Star Anise

Written by Eydie Desser

This dish was inspired by Star Ukrainian Chef Klopotenko, who created this heavenly combination of simmering lentils with star anise… a warming spice that is just mesmerizing! We gave it the Garden of Eydie treatment by substituting butter with the juice of an orange and with the addition of nutrient rich, nutty arugula that can be served as either a side dish or main entrée salad. By the way, Star Anise is high in antioxidants, iron, vitamin C, caicum, potassium and magnesium! Delicious and nutritious!


  • 1 cup green lentils, washed and drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 1-2 star anise pods (I used 1-½)
  • Juice of 1 orange, or more to taste
  • Wild Arugula


Cook the Lentils:

  1.  Pour 3 cups of water into  3-qt. pot, add in the lentils and star anise pods.
  2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat then turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes. 
  3. Check the lentils after 18 minutes to see if they are just cooked through. If not, continue to simmer until ready, but not mushy.  
  4. Strain the lentils and add to a bowl.

Make the Salad:

  1. Squeeze orange juice over the lentils, add the arugula, adding more orange juice as needed.
  2. Serve and be surprised by this super special, healthy spice!
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