I am much more a fan of lentils in salads now that it is possible to buy them ready cooked in a pack. I’ve never been one for soaking pulses overnight – way too slow! These packs, which are now readily available in most supermarkets, only need one minute in a microwave and they are heated and ready to serve. Even when I use them in a salad, I tend to warm them first as that seems to make whatever salad dressing you are using even more tasty.
Anyhow, we needed a substantial salad for a picnic and this is what I made (or, more accurately, the ingredients I combined!). As it was to be eaten with Coronation chicken, I rather liked the fact that it had a touch of Indian spices as well. We ate it with poppadoms and it made for a fun lunch. Oh yes, and this is a low calorie salad, working out at under 200 cals per portion.
Lentil & cherry tomato salad
Ingredients serves 4 – 6
400g Puy lentils (I used two packs of Merchant Gourmet)
Juice: half lime and half lemon
Tbsp white wine vinegar
Red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
Tsp ground cumin
Garlic clove, small, crushed
2 tbspn mango chutney
Handful coriander, roughly chopped
250g cherry tomatoes, halved (I used Sugardrop which I bought in Tesco – they are so crunchy and sweet, highly recommend them)
How to prepare
Mix the citrus juices, vinegar and a pinch of salt in a salad bowl and then add the onion. After a few minutes the onion will soften and turn pink. Drain the onions and set aside.
Whisk together the oil, cumin, garlic and chutney, then add to the onions. Finally, add the lentils, coriander and tomatoes, and mix well. Season generously and it’s ready to serve or pack up in a cold bag and take on a picnic – I found this kept very well for a good few hours.