Vegan Lentil Salad Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |

Forget traditional shepherd’s pie laced with greasy ground beef, it’s all about the more refined and definitely healthier shepherdess version containing green lentils that have been cooked al dente. The glorious puy is surely the caviar of the lentil world. It smacks of pure sophistication and holds its shape so well after cooking it’s the perfect choice for a lentil salad.

Ingredients

1 cup puy (french style) lentils

1/2 red onion

10 pomodorino (or cherry or grape) tomatoes

1 celery stick

1 small zucchini

1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

1 tbsp slice basil

1 large dried fig

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp sunflower seeds

zest of 1 lemon

juice 1/2 lemon

1 tbsp olive oil

sea salt and pepper

Dressing:

1 tsp vegan wholegrain mustard

juice 1/2 lemon

1 tbsp red wine vinegar (vegan)

1 tsp agave syrup

3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and pepper

Directions

Photos: Aine Carlin

1. Rinse and sort the lentils. Place them in a pan and top with two cups of water. Cover, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15-20mins until tender. Not all the liquid will be absorbed so you'll need to drain. They will be delicate at this stage so try not to handle them too much. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. Finely chop the red onion. Slice the tomatoes. Wash and grate the courgette. Finely chop the celery - as fine as possible. Chop the fig into small pieces and zest the lemon.

3. Put all the ingredients including the lentils into a large bowl and gently mix. Season generously and add the lemon juice and oil. Thoroughly stir to incorporate the flavors.

4. Put all the dressing ingredients into a jam jar and shake vigorously until it emulsifies. Taste and adjust for seasoning if necessary.

5. Add the chopped flat leaf parsley, slice basil and seeds to the bowl, pour over the dressing and combine.

Serve alone, as a side dish or a starter. Would also work wonderfully with some crumbled cashew cheese sprinkled over the top.