Beluga lentils cook very much like puy (pronounced pwee) lentils. They hold their shape magnificently (but don’t test that and cook them for any longer than 15–20 minutes). When it comes to whipping up a lentil salad no matter your choice of lentil, the trick is to get them al dente.
Tip: Switch the flavours up once you’ve exhausted this recipe. Try blanched snow peas or broccoli, fresh celery or shredded cabbage instead of lentils.
3 ½ cups filtered water
2 cups beluga (black) or puy (dark green) lentils
8–10 leaves Tuscan kale, finely shredded
2 handfuls green beans, sliced on angle into 2cm pieces
1 small purple onion, very finely diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
½ bunch finely chopped parsley, basil or mint
1 large lemon, juiced
½ cup olive oil
1tsp Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp good salt
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1. Place the lentils in filtered water in a saucepan, bring to the boil and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Reduce to a low heat and simmer for another 10–15 minutes or until the lentils have absorbed all the water and are soft and al dente. Beluga lentils hold their shape well and are ideal for summer salads. Strain and cool lentils with cold water.
2. Place aside in a mixing bowl.
3. To blanch the kale and green beans, bring to the boil a small amount of water. To finely shred the kale, lay each leaf onto one another and roll up into a tight roll. Slice finely from one end to the other. Plunge the kale into the boiling water for 30 seconds or until it is a wonderful bright green colour. Strain and cool with cold water to retain colour and texture. Do the same with the beans, making sure there is still a little crunch but also a slight softness on the outside of the bean. Place in the bowl with lentils.
4. Add the rest of the chopped ingredients.
5. Mix the dressing ingredients in a jar, shake, pour over the salad and lightly toss. Serve with fresh bread, half an avocado, brown rice or crackers, if you wish.
Anthea Amore’s Passion:Vegan Recipes to Live For cookbook