This is the perfect lentil salad and the only one you will ever need. It’s got just the right amount of delicious French flavour and a lovely texture. It pairs well with so many things – especially sausages, and can be eaten warm or cold. This recipe is also vegan and super healthy. Lentils are laced with fiber and have a good dose of protein.
I love to eat this salad at room temperature over a bowl of roughly chopped up cos (Romaine) lettuce with a sliced up warm sausage. It’s a bowl of pure heaven and I find it easier to eat it this way with just a fork. Lentils can be tricky buggers to eat with a knife and fork as you simply can’t get enough on in one go.
I bought these Argentinian chorizo sausages from Giovanni’s and they were totally delicious. Any really good quality artisan sausage will work well here. Something hearty and packed with flavour, like the chorizo, a good Italian or French sausage.
Dark or Puy lentils are the nicest. They retain their bite and have a better flavour than their green counterparts. You are cooking this in a ‘risotto’ style so depending on the size of your pan and the resultant level of evapouration will determine how much liquid you add. You want the end result to have the lentils coated in some liquid and not totally dried out. They should also not be swimming in liquid (drain this off if for some strange reason you land up in this situation). I used a large 30cm cast iron casserole dish with a lid.
You can finish this salad off with chopped parsley, crispy bacon bits or some grated lemon zest. Toasted walnuts or a sprinkling of goats cheese are also a delicious option.
Recipe – serves 3 – 4
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 small brown onion, very finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, very finely chopped
- 1 – 3 cloves garlic (depending on how garlicky you like it)
- 4 whole cloves
- olive oil for frying
- 150gms dark / Puy lentils
- About 400mls chicken or vegetable stock (1 ½ – 2 cups)
- A medium sprig of rosemary
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 ½ Tbsp EV olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 – 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- sea salt flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
Boil the kettle and get your stock ready. Make about 2 cups.
Heat your skillet with a splash of olive oil and add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, cloves and fry until they soften and become translucent (I find putting the lid on for a bit helps this process along, adding some moisture which prevents browning).
Add the lentils and stir so that they become coated in the oil.
Add the herbs and about 300ml of the stock, cover and cook over a very low heat for about 15 minutes. Check the levels, give it a good stir and add more stock if needed (I used about 450ml in total). Cook for a further 10 or so minutes and until the lentils are cooked but still retain some bite (al dente).
Leave the lentils to stand for about 5 -10 minutes with the lid on. Remove the herbs and make the dressing.
Add the dressing to the lentils while they are still a little warm, as they will absorb it better.
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