This salad is so much more than the sum of its parts. It has a rich, complex flavour combining many ingredients you wouldn’t necessarily have put together.
For the salad
- 200g puy lentils or lentilles vert (not the same thing as green lentils despite their confusing name, basically you’re looking for the small little browny green yokes)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf (the original recipe called for sage, I’m not a huge fan though)
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained
- 1 red onion
- 75g feta
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted.
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons tahini paste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (if you had a preserved lemon you could chop it up and lob it in as per the original)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 2 teaspoons ground and toasted coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoons ground and toasted cumin seeds
- First, cook the lentils according the direction on the pack with a bay leaf and the two cloves of garlic peeled until they are tender.
- I am a bit slapdash about lentil cooking, having cooked them a lot over the years, but it tends to be about 20-30 minutes over medium high heat with twice the amount of water as lentils, but I have seen huge variation in instructions.
- Drain the lentils once cooked.
- Drain the chickpeas.
- Meanwhile, toast both the cumin and coriander in a dry pan over a medium heat until they are fragrant (you need to watch this stage carefully, fragrant turns to burnt so very quickly).
- Remove and grind in a pestle and mortar (or a coffee grinder, though I am not sure how effectively you could clean that after to prevent having cumin coffee for the next month).
- Toast the sesame seeds carefully in the pan until they are a medium-dark brown colour, just before they burn.
- To make the salad dressing, mix the ingredients well in a jar, reserving half the cumin and coriander to sprinkle on top of the salad.
- You may want to adjust the dressing to make it more lemony, less lemony, more tahini-y or less tahini-y, this is a just a guideline.
- Finely chop the red onion.
- Finely chop the fresh coriander.
- To assemble, mix the chickpeas and cooked lentils.
- Toss with the dressing and most of the sesame seeds.
- Top with the feta, red onion, fresh coriander, maybe a drizzle more lemon, and the remaining sesame, coriander and cumin seeds.
- Season if required.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Category: Side