Lentil salad with grapes and chardonnay dressing
11th June 2010

Lentil salad with grapes and chardonnay dressing

By Sara Photography by Emma
 

I remember a few years ago when I was working as a chef, there was a dry spell in the availability of puy lentils – I can’t remember what caused it but it seemed to cause quite a stir amongst our restaurant community.   I admit that I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about, but recently I have been using lentils a lot, particularly the puy variety. You see, I have been eating a lot less meat (this is big for me, when I was a kid I got steak for special occasions, not sweets) and the puy lentil is an actual credible alternative to “real” protein.

If you really want to tip yourself over the protein edge, I suggest you serve it with steamed salmon or a robust white fish such as harpuku (groper).

Ingredients

6 as a side with lean meat or fish
  • Salad
  • 2 c lentils
  • 1 carrot, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 c almonds
  • 2 c seedless grapes, halved
  • 200g feta, cubed (1cmx1cm)
  • Dressing
  • 1 tbsp + 1 c olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced finely
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • ¼ c chardonnay (or a splash of white wine vinegar)
  • ¼ c chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

      Method

      • --
      • 1. Wash the lentils under cold water and add them to a large sauce pan with the carrot, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Add enough cold water to cover.
      • 2. Bring to the boil, then simmer uncovered for 30 mins.
      • 3. Drain, cool and remove the vegetables from the lentils.
      • 4. For the dressing, sauté the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil. Cool.
      • 5. Transfer the onion and garlic to a bowl and add 1 c oil, the lemon juice and zest, chardonnay (or vinegar), parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
      • 6. Lightly toast the almonds in the oven or in a frying pan.
      • 7. Combine the lentils, almonds, grapes, feta and dressing to taste (you don’t have to add all the dressing, just pour it into a jar and refrigerate what you don’t use, or serve it on the side).
       
       

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