It’s freezing cold in my part of the world at the moment. While I have come to appreciate the contrast of the seasons, there are others in my crew who don’t. It is for this reason we are making our annual pilgrimage up north to escape the cold.
Whilst most people would be doing a happy dance at the prospect of a tropical holiday, I secretly feel anxious (don’t tell anyone). Do you ever get that sinking feeling like you’re going to miss the plane? Well I have this for a whole week leading up to the trip. Even though we’re traveling domestically, I like to get to the airport 2 hours early just in case. Just in case of what I’m not really sure…
My dog is old and I worry about how he’ll be looked after while we’re gone. I think about how much I’ll miss my bed and my kitchen. Basically, I am not that much fun to plan a holiday with. The good news is, once we reach our destination I am able to relax and enjoy myself.
What’s all this got to do with a lentil salad? Well, I have made a great big batch of this Lentil and Walnut Salad so I don’t have to think about what I’m going to eat this week. One less thing for me to worry about.
Lentils are such a versatile legume. This salad contains ‘French Style’ lentils from the supermarket. I guess that means they’re not authentic french lentils. I have heard these are delicious but haven’t been able to find them locally as yet. If you live in Melbourne and know of any great places that sell authentic french lentils let me know.
The simple red wine vinegar dressing along with diced red onion and walnuts really make this salad sing. It’s just as good freshly made as it is the next day from the fridge. What’s more, you don’t have to be a nervous traveler to enjoy it. 🙂
I also find this salad is great for when you’ve been asked to bring a plate. It works well as a side dish for any meat. Give it a go and let me know what you think.
Lentil and Walnut Salad
1 cup french style lentils (uncooked)
1/2 small red onion (diced)
1/3 cup walnuts (roughly chopped)
A good handful of flat leaf parsley (roughly chopped)
For the dressing:
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
- First put your lentils on to cook. Put the cup of lentils into a saucepan with 1/2 peeled brown onion, 1 carrot (cut into thirds), 1 stick of celery (cut into thirds), 3 cloves of garlic, 1 bay leaf, a pinch of salt and a prune. Cover with 3 cups of cold water and put on the stove. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for around 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Whilst the lentils are cooking dice your red onion and roughly chop your walnuts and put them both in a clean glass bowl big enough to hold the lentils as well. Now add half the flat leaf parsley and set aside.
- Time to prepare your dressing. Place the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper into a clean glass jar. Pop the lid on and give the dressing a really good shake to mix it all together. Have a little taste, add more salt or pepper if you think it needs it. Set aside.
- Once the lentils are cooked, drain them in a fine holed sieve or colander and discard the veggies. Now put the cooked lentils into the bowl with the onions, walnuts, and parsley.
- Give the dressing one last good shake and pour about 1/2 of it over the warm lentils. Gently mix the lentil, onion, and walnut mixture to evenly distribute the dressing. Have a taste, if you think it needs the rest of the dressing go ahead and add it now.
- Finally, sprinkle the rest of the parsley over the salad. Cover with cling film and set aside for about an hour before serving.