Wednesday, 15 April 2015


How beautiful was the weather today - it was boiling in London and so we thought it was the perfect day for our first barbecue of the year. We have simple tastes when it comes to grilling and so had cheese burgers and sausages but I wanted to make a different type of side dish to our usual green or potato salad. I found this lentil salad recipe in a waitrose magazine from last year - it was apparently inspired by Le Tour de France.

It took around 10 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook.

Ingredients for 6 people (as a side dish):

250g puy lentils
3 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, sliced (I didn't have a leek and very much missed it)!
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stick, sliced
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 x 25g pack of flat leave parsley, roughly chopped
100g bag baby spinach
Squeeze lemon juice (optional)
100g blue cheese (such as Stilton or Roquefort)

Cook the lentils according to the packet instructions. I put the lentils in a saucepan and covered them with three times their volume of vegetable stock (you could just use water). Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are firm to the bite.

When they are ready drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and fry the leek and the carrot over a medium heat for 10 minutes. As I mentioned earlier I didn't have a leek so had to just make do without.

Add the celery for a couple of minutes and then stir in the remaining olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.

Tip the drained lentils into the pan and mix together with the vegetables.

Remove from the heat and add the parsley and spinach, tossing together until the leaves have started to wilt.

Pour into a bowl / serving dish, season well and add a splash of lemon juice. Finally scatter with some blue cheese and serve warm or at room temperature.

This was very good although as I mentioned earlier I missed having a leek. Pascal adored this salad - it is definitely one of his favourites. I think you could easily mix it up a little - for example add some cherry tomatoes or pine nuts or whatever you have available. It would also go very nicely with some crusty bread and butter although I definitely enjoyed it with my cheese burger….you can never have enough cheese right?!

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