Handsome knows I love a bit of Gordon Ramsey. I don’t let him know how much, but believe me, it’s a lot… So he humors me by buying me Gordon’s cookbooks and I pore over them marking all the recipes I want to try first. This one came out almost number one from my Christmas gift book (Home Cooking). Handsome and I were looking for an alternative to rice or potatoes, but in the freezing cold of winter. This salad came up top trumps and we had it with my pork tenderloin with lemon and oregano and a big green salad. It was delicious and we had thirds of the lentil salad. I recommend you try it and put your variation on it depending on the flavors you love. The lentils just suck them up and if you give them a while to develop… your tongue will be rewarded… Gordson’s recipe included chives and a different proportion of ingredients. I prefer it my way (obviously) as there are more lentils, so more leftovers for next day lunch!
500g puy lentils (if cooking the lentils use 2 litres hot vegetable stock and 2 bay leaves too)
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut in 1 cm pieces
2 red peppers, chopped to a similar size as the zucchini
splash olive oil
400g jar of sundried tomatoes, julienned
2 ripe avocados
1 lemon, juiced
30 basil leaves, roughly torn
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine red peppers, zucchini, splash of olive oil and salt and pepper in a roasting tin and cook for 45 mins until the vegetables are soft and taking some color.
- If cooking the puy lentils, boil them in the stock with the bay leaf for 15 minutes until cooked. Drain and cool.
- If not cooking the lentils, use them as they come, and separate them into a large bowl.
- Add the hot vegetables to the lentils and add the lemon, sundried tomatoes and a couple of tablespoons of the jar oil.
- Allow to cool to room temperature. If not using immediately, this will keep for 2-3 days before serving and the flavors will improve.
- Before serving, add the sliced avocado and torn up basil leaves. These add a last minute freshness that is unbeatable!