I do love a good salad, but they can be a bit chilly (and unfulfilling) during the winter months, so I went on the hunt for warm salads to curb my cravings. Through trial and error, mixing and matching, I cam up with this warm puy lentil salad which goes well with all sorts of sides – although I do enjoy a good falafel or tofu steak with it for that protein boost. I also add a nice variety of vegetables and a light sprinkle of feta for that light salty taste.
I don’t quite know what it is about lentils that makes everything seem OK in the world, but they really do. Well, my world, anyway! It makes me wonder whether to have a specific lentil section on the index page…what do you reckon?
So yeah, salads in the colder months seem to be carrying on into Spring, so I guess it is good that I am sharing it now. (we had it a while ago and I have just realised that I have a lot of catching up to do) If you’re in the UK you’ll have noticed that we’re not having a very spring-like spring, with the late frosts, hail stones and torrential rain and that, as well as having to continue with the cold weather meals, means that I (and LOADS of other people I have spoken to) haven’t had chance to get my potatoes in the garden or even sort out the raised beds for the veggies – it’s just too wet out there! I will get on it this week though, I think, as Jit will be away and I’ll have a bit of extra time after delivering laughter yoga down in Darby. I say that, but it might not happen and I might sit indoors making myself clothes! …we’ll see!
Not only is this warming, hearty and delicious, if you make the lentils in advance or buy precooked ones, you can rustle this up in about 30 minutes (or less if you use your food processor grater and slicer plates) Ooooh and just look at how colourful it is for a grey day!!
150 g cooked Puy lentils
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed (less if you’re not such a garlic fan!)
1 large carrot, grated
250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, rinded and juiced
small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
125 g feta cheese
salt and pepper
cucumber, sliced and quartered
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, then add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery and combine until lightly softened
Add the lentils to the mix and combine, stirring to circulate the heat
Pour over the lemon juice and add the rind and stir to combine
Season with salt and pepper
Remove from the heat stir through the coriander and then add the feta, plate up and scatter over the tomatoes and cucumber, serve immediately to keep the heat
It really is that simple! And coupled with some falafel parries of chickpea fritters this makes for a delicious and hearty meal that everyone will love. The flavours are great and with a little addition of some chili sauce, it will send the meal right up there in the favourites stakes.
If you are looking for a quick and budget friendly mid-week meal, then you can rustle up the falafels in advance and cook up the lentils too as they will keep for a few days and you can freeze off the falafel and just grab them from the freezer and let them defrost while you are out. That way, a quick grill and they will be ready for the meal.
Because it is so calorie light, I would definitely suggest having something on the side, such as a falafel burger or tofu steak just to keep you warm. However, if you’re chowing down in Summer, or on a diet, then this could be the perfect option for you (I still like more, even in the simmer!)
I’m certainly looking to add more warm salads to my meal planning (especially with the current temperatures) so please let me know if you have any I should try!
Here’s to cosy evenings and warm salads!
- 150 g cooked Puy lentils
- 1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 celery sticks, finely sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed (less if you're not such a garlic fan!)
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon, rinded and juiced
- small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
- 125 g feta cheese
- salt and pepper
- cucumber, sliced and quartered
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, then add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery and combine until lightly softened
- Add the lentils to the mix and combine, stirring to circulate the heat
- Pour over the lemon juice and add the rind and stir to combine
- Season with salt and pepper
- Remove from the heat and add the feta, plate up and scatter over the tomatoes and cucumber, serve immediately to keep the heat