This salad’s got it all – wonderfully earthy flavours from lentils along with a creamy salty hit from feta, a good crunch from snappy beans and a crisp fresh bite from cherry tomatoes and a dressing using sherry vinegar. Whoop!
Turn it into a main course by serving with good grainy bread and roasted pumpkin, or add canned tuna alongside and soft-cooked eggs.
100g (½ cup) Puy or brown lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
¼ cup pine nuts
100g (3-4 ounces) slim green beans, trimmed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Finely grated zest 1 lemon
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¾ tsp flaky sea salt, or to taste
125g (about 4 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved
100g (3-4 ounces) rocket, trimmed
1 small cos lettuce, trimmed
100g (4 ounces) soft feta cheese, crumbled
1 Put lentils in a pan, cover with cold water and bring to a gentle boil. Cook gently, partially covered with a lid, for 20-30 minutes, until tender; be careful not to overcook them. Drain lentils and cool for 5 minutes.
2 Toast pine nuts in a frying pan with just a lick of olive oil over a gentle heat. Tip them onto paper towels when ready.
3 Plunge green beans into a saucepan of lightly salted water and cook for 3-5 minutes, keeping them crisp, but not hard. Drain and refresh with plenty of cold water. Dry off on paper towels. If the beans are long, cut them into halves or thirds.
4 Wash and dry cos lettuce leaves and tear into bite-sized pieces. Store in a plastic bag lined with paper towels in the fridge until ready to sue.
5 In a large bowl mix garlic, lemon zest, sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil together adding sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix in lentils and green beans, then tomatoes, pine nuts and salad leaves and toss again. Crumble feta over the top, or toss it through, then serve immediately.