My post today is simply a description of a salad I made a few days ago. It is inspired by the work of my current Food Hero, Yotam Ottolenghi. It is very similar to a recipe I found in his book "Plenty", with one or two adjustments.
OK, doesn't than look YUMMY? (You couldn't possibly say No!)
You'll want to know what's in this salad, I'm sure.
Ingredients: Puy Lentils, Red Onions, semi-dried Tomatoes, Parsley and Blue Cheese. There is also a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar - the latter an improvisation by me aimed at loosening-up the texture a bit.The original recipe calls for Gorgonzola cheese, which would be perfect, but unfortunately on the day I wanted to make this salad I couldn't get any Gorgonzola and I had to content myself with a "value" (aka economy) product simply called "Blue Cheese". It was a little too firm for my liking - Ottolenghi's choice of the softer Gorgonzola was spot-on.
This salad could easily be put together using pre-prepared ingredients, but since I had plenty of time I made some of the elements from first principles. I cooked the tomatoes on a very low heat for about 2 hours, until they were soft and gooey, not crisp. Likewise, although I could have used tinned lentils, I didn't. I cooked mine myself. This way you can have exactly the quantity you want, without feeling obliged to use a whole tin or sachet. The Puy lentils can be cooked in about 35 or 40 minutes, without the need for pre-soaking.
The onions are basically raw, though they are "marinated" in salt for about half an hour, which softens them a little, as does the addition of the red wine vinegar I mentioned earlier. What can I say about the Parsley? Parsley might be seen by some as unexciting, but I truly think it is a wonderfully versatile herb. This salad would certainly be incomplete without it. It contributes subtle flavour, but texture and vibrant colour too.
This salad has enormous visual appeal, and my assembly of it recognises that. I have done my best to be faithful to the original salad pictured in Ottolenghi's book. [For those of you who have the book - see page 222.]
We ate this salad as a Starter, part of a fairly comprehensive all-vegetarian meal, and it was wonderful. Almost good enough to be a meal on its own - possibly with the addition of a large chunk of crusty bread.
P.S. I'm putting this forward for the Credit Crunch Munch, hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food 4 All
A fairly large starter! I've never had lentils in a salad but it looks good.ReplyDelete
Sue, the pictures are of a 2-person starter!Delete
Yes, It does look yummy! I would definitely help myself to it ;)ReplyDelete
Gosh this looks amazing. Lentils seem to have a bit of a bad wrap I guess because they are often served mushy. I will definitely give it a try but maybe with some haloumi. Nice workReplyDelete
For me it would definably be a meal on its own. I often use cheese or beans as my protein at lunch and this one has both.ReplyDelete
beautiful beautiful salad... and a great meal... I soaked some lentils today so very excited about them!ReplyDelete
That salad is so eye-appealing and must be delicious. I must try it and I like the fact that it can be a complete meal...maybe just a bite of bread or some crackers with it. YUM!ReplyDelete
That is my kind of salad. I have that Plenty book too and love it. There is a fantastic roast vegetable tart that I've made for Christmas the past two years and it is de-lish.ReplyDelete
I love lentil salad, and I serve it quite often. I have a recipe where you add smoked salmon cut into strips (no cheese, but add échalotte or spring onion) ; the sauce is made with nut or grape seed oil, lemon juice, honey and horseradish. All served on a bed of lamb's lettuce. Very yummy!!ReplyDelete
I must say it looks very moreish Mark, I have never eaten cold lentils but there's always a first time - I will report back on whether I enjoyed it or not.ReplyDelete
Another nice dish, (I'm reading through all the posts that occurred while I was on holiday). I'm thinking cured black olives and subbing out the gorgonzola with feta would also be delicious.ReplyDelete
This is really a kind of very good oriental cooking! And you do it so well! Sometimes I used a turkish receipe to make a lentil salad called "Kırmızı Mercimek Salatası". I'ts like a variation of your Lentil and Red Onion salad. But I can not fotograph as well like you.ReplyDelete
This lentil salad is a very balanced meal in itself. Beautiful photos as always!!ReplyDelete
Looks pretty good to me Mark. I love lentils, especially in soups. I know it's been said before - but I love your photographs.ReplyDelete
That looks really nice. I love lentils in salad, they really fill you up.ReplyDelete
I love this combination of flavours and have had a very similar dish as a warm salad with Halloumi, I'm not a blue cheese eater but I know my husband would be in culinary heaven with this particular combination. Thank you for entering Credit Crunch Munch with such a tasty recipe:-)ReplyDelete