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Puy Lentil Salad 


Such a versatile, classy side dish, I adore this recipe. It can suit winter or summer, on a bed of rocket with spiced slow cooked lamb or chicken thighs cooked at high temp in the oven following the Ottolenghi method in his Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Garlic dish, or alongside a BBQ bonanza in summer.
Recipe based on a Neil Perry recipe I found in the Good Food section of the SMH 2015.
Another note -  a spice rub Neil Perry uses with this dish for your chosen meat accompaniment is a mix of 1 tsp each, ground – pepper, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, thyme, sea salt – add some fresh garlic and a few glugs of olive oil. Drizzled with a mustard dressing of 3 tbsp mayonnaise to 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

Pictured: Puy Lentil Salad 
¾ cup Puy/French lentils
½ small onion, peeled and finely diced
1 small carrot, peeled and finely sliced
2 small celery stalks, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar or whichever is your favourite
1 – 2 cups baby rocket leaves
1 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

In a large saucepan place the lentils, onion, carrot, ½ the celery, bay leaf, chicken stock plus 1 cup water – bring to the boil and simmer 25 minutes until the lentils are cooked but still hold their shape well – do not over-cook, test for tenderness by trying one.
Allow to cool. Discard bay leaf. 
Whisk the oil and vinegar together and mix into the lentils with the other crunchy half of the celery. Season with sea salt and pepper.
To serve, lay the rocket as a bed on a platter, spoon ¾ of the lentils down the centre, sprinkle over the parsley and lemon zest. Place the extra lentils in a bowl to serve at the table.
Serve with roasted lamb, chicken or pork placed over the top, drizzled with a mustard dressing as above.

Serves 4 - 6