Lisa’s Luscious Lentil Salad

This is a healthy, yet delicious and easy salad inspired by my Sister, Lisa.  She served it with baked smoked haddock fillets, but any other fish (salmon, cod, shrimp), or other protein would work equally well.  However the salty, smokiness of the haddock really complimented the  slight heat, and lemon zing of the salad.  Make more than you need so you’ll have plenty for leftovers and lunch the next day!

Roasted carrots and lentils are cooled before making the salad. Haddock fillets waiting to be baked
Roasted carrots and lentils are cooled before making the salad. Haddock fillets waiting to be baked
Big Bowl of loveliness!
Big Bowl of loveliness!

Lisa's Luscious Lentil Salad
Serves 6
Hearty, healthy and delicious salad, great served with smoked fish, chicken or your favorite protein. And it's easy to make too!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound Carrots, peeled and cut into 1" x 1/4" batons
  2. 1 teaspoon Hot Smoked Paprika (mild can be used if you can't take the heat!)
  3. 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  4. 3 cups cooked Puy, (or Brown) Lentils, left to cool (see note below)
  5. Small Red Onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  6. 10oz jar Roasted Red Peppers, drained and sliced
  7. Bunch of fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
  8. 1 Organic (or unwaxed) Lemon washed and dried
  9. 1-2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or more to taste)
  10. Salt and Pepper
For the Roasted Carrots
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F 190C, Gas Mark 5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil to save on clean up! In a large bowl toss the Carrots with the Paprika and 1 tablespoon of EVOO. Spread out on baking sheet in a single layer and place in oven. After 20 minutes remove and toss the carrots before returning to oven to continue cooking for a further 5 to 10 minutes. You want them to be tender with a little color. Remove carrots from oven and spread onto a plate to cool.
For the Salad
  1. In a large mixing bowl place the roasted and cooled Carrots, Lentils, Red Onion, Roasted Red Peppers and chopped Parsley.
  2. Using a microplane or fine grater, zest the peel of the lemon on top of the salad, then cut lemon in half and squeeze all the juice into the salad.
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of EVOO and toss well together. You can add more EVOO if you like, but the salad should not be too oily, just enough to lightly coat. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste
Notes
  1. To cook dried lentils, measure out 2 cups for this recipe and carefully pick through them; the best way to do this is to have a large white plate handy. Pour a thin layer and push through the lentils with your fingers - you are looking for any small stones or broken, shriveled lentils that should be discarded. This only takes a few minutes and is worth the effort - there's nothing pleasant about biting on a small stone! Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Place sorted lentils into a fine mesh strainer and thoroughly rinse under cold, running water. Pour lentils into boiling water (a bay leaf and garlic clove can be added for extra flavor). Bring back to a gentle simmer, place on lid and cook for 20-30 minutes until lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain the lentils well and pour onto a large plate to cool; you can season them with a light sprinkling of sea salt.
  2. OR.... You could use packaged precooked lentils, or canned lentils that have been drained and rinsed under cold, running water.
Adapted from Lisa Chapman
Adapted from Lisa Chapman
The Blushing Beet http://theblushingbeet.com/
HOLD THE PHONE! …….  On my second night back in Dallas, I was craving this delicious salad but didn’t want to make a special trip to the supermarket for supplies.  So here’s my twist on Lisa’s salad based on what I found in my fridge and pantry.  The fresh mint came from my garden (the cooler, damp weather in Dallas had brought the plants back to life) and as I didn’t have fresh parsley,served as a very acceptable substitution.

IMG_0781

Martine's Minty Lentil Salad
My version of Lisa's Luscious Lentil Salad made from ingredients in my pantry, fridge and foraged from the garden.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cooked and cooled Puy, or brown, Lentils
  2. 1 small Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1" x 1/4" batons
  3. 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  4. 1 teaspoon Hot Smoked Paprika
  5. 1 green courgette (zucchini) cut into 3/4" cubes
  6. 1 yellow courgette (summer squash) cut into 3/4" cubes
  7. 1 teaspoon green Thai curry paste
  8. 1 small Red Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  9. 1 tablespoon capers
  10. 1/2 cup frozen Sweetcorn (defrosted)
  11. 1/4 cup chopped fresh Mint
  12. 1 organic (or unwaxed) Lemon, washed and dried
  13. 1 tablespoon EVOO
  14. Salt and Pepper
  15. 1/4 cup crumbled goats cheese
Roast the Squashes
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, 190 C. Gas Mark 5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (saves on clean up!).
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the Butternut Squash with a tablespoon of EVOO and smoked, hot Paprika. Pour on one half of the baking sheet and spread out to a single layer.
  3. In the same bowl, toss both courgettes with the curry paste and a little extra EVOO to help it stick. Pour onto other half of baking sheet and spread out to a single layer. Place in oven for 20 minutes then remove and gently toss squashes, keeping them separated as best you can. Return to oven for a further 5 to 10 minutes until squashes are tender and a little brown. Remove from oven and place on a plate to cool before adding to the salad.
For the Salad
  1. In a large mixing bowl, place cooled lentils, the cooled squashes, red onion, capers, sweetcorn, and mint. Using a Microplane or fine grater, zest the peel of the lemon onto ingredients and cut lemon in half and squeeze in the juice. Add one tablespoon EVOO and toss everything gently together (more EVOO can be added if required). Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place the salad into a serving bowl, sprinkle the goats cheese on top and garnish with a mint sprig. Enjoy on it's own or with protein of your choice.
Notes
  1. You can change this recipe as much as you desire. If you don't like, or have, capers then olives would be a great substitute. Hate Goats Cheeze? then use feta or just leave it out. Fresh coriander (cilantro) could be used instead of mint, and chick peas would be a good substitute for corn. The method of cooking dried lentils is described in Lisa's recipe, or you could used canned lentils that have been drained and thoroughly rinsed with cold water.
Adapted from Lisa Chapman
Adapted from Lisa Chapman
The Blushing Beet http://theblushingbeet.com/

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