This is another one of my "salads". The kind of salad with a distinct lack of anything leafy... the kind of salad that I will eat out of choice rather than an attempt to be a 'grown up'. The kind of salad that Mr E will actually request!
I can't decide if my favourite thing about this salad is the jewel-like pomegranate seeds that burst in your mouth, the flavourful lentils, the crumbly, salty feta, the zingy dressing... or just the lack of leaves. Whatever it is, this is one of my favourite salads and I'm hoping that soon it will be one of yours too!
Puy lentils are so much yummier than most lentils, and are far easier and quicker to make. They also keep their shape and texture when cooked, instead of turning somewhat stodgy as I find most lentils do. In the UK, you can buy these in most supermarkets by a brand called "Merchant Gourmet"- if you buy the uncooked version just follow the instructions on the packet for cooking (but I use stock instead of water for extra flavour) and then leave aside them to cool. Far easier (and just as cheap!) though, is to buy a tin of the precooked lentils and simply drain and rinse them. I love these versatile little dudes, and will share lots of other ways of using them soon.
Puy Lentil, Pomegranate and Feta Salad
Serves 4 as part of a main course, or 6-8 as a light lunch
500g Tinned Puy Lentils, drain and rinsed
200g feta, crumbled
Seeds of 1 large pomegranate
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 lemon, juice only
5 tblspns olive oil
1 tblspn red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to season
Optional: handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped (I would actually normally add this, as it adds a lovely freshness, but I may have accidentally killed our parsley plant... Oops)
Directions1) Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
2) A tip for deseeding a pomegranate: the seeds float! So, cut the fruit in half, fill a sink with water and pull the flesh apart under the water. The flesh will sink and the seeds will float, so you can simply skim them off the surface. Sooo much easier and less messy than the "smack the heck out of the fruit until all the seeds all out" method!
3) Combine the feta, pomegranate seeds, red onion and lentils in a large bowl and mix gently.
4) Drizzle over the dressing and gently mix it all again. Add in the parsley at this point if you're using it. Season to taste.
This is delicious on its own as a light lunch, but makes a great side for dinner with grilled chicken or any other meat of your choosing.