Today’s entry is an unusual salad I’ve had my eyes on for a while. The recipe calls for puy lentils, the small greenish black pulses from France. I used Spanish Pardinas, they’re small and hold up well to the heat, which makes them great for using as a base for other foods. In this case, they’re paired with crisp tender peas, thinly sliced onions and chopped herbs to make an unusual pea and lentil salad.
Nigel Slater is rapidly becoming a favorite. I love his flavor and ingredient combinations and the delightful way he describes the ingredients he uses and the final product (see this recipe for lentil stuffed onions). He also lists variations of his recipes, like another favorite food writer, Mark Bittman.
As mentioned, I’ve had this recipe in my WANT TO MAKE file for a couple months. I found the lentils for sale, in bulk, at a vegetable stand. In a separate trip, purchased frozen peas specifically to make this salad. With one thing or another, it was a month before I got around to it. Gotta love pantry staples!
It’s a simple dish to prepare, but don’t give in to the temptation to cook the peas with the lentils, you’ll lose the vibrant color. Instead, prepare the lentils, toss with the simple vinaigrette and let them sit while you cook the peas separately. Then just toss with some fresh or dried herbs, I used parsley…would love to try again with fresh mint.
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 - 3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 2 cups broth (I used ½ a bouillon cube and water)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 small onion, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of ½ lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- large handful of chopped fresh herbs (parsley or mint) or lesser amount dried herbs
- Cook the lentils and garlic in broth for 20 - 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Drain the lentils and remove the garlic.
- Prepare a simple vinaigrette by mixing the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Add the cooked lentils and onions, stir to coat in the vinaigrette,
- Cook the peas in plenty of water until they are crisp tender, drain. Toss with the lentils.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
Rick did not care for this and he wasn’t tempted when I offered to reheat some sausage we had in the fridge to serve with it. I enjoyed my portion and warmed the leftovers and served them over some cooked spinach. A lot of green, but it was filling and flavorful.
It’s potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. Drop by and see the other offerings. They’re sure to be fabulous!