Lentil salad with grapes and chardonnay dressing
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).
6 as a side with lean meat or fish
- 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)
- 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
- 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).