I wonder whether I have mentioned before that I despise salad? I just think that in principle, anything with that much water content can't really be described as food.
But it turns out that a lot of my prejudice can be explained away by the pitiful quality and lack of imagination shown in most British salads nowadays. So this little beauty takes its inspiration from further afield. There probably won't be much more of the year left when we can seriously consider salad consumtion as a viable food choice, so this particular recipe is a good season-straddler. I got the recipe from a book owned by one of my friends, which I'll credit just as soon as I get her to remind me which book it came from...
Puy lentil salad with soy beans, sugar snaps and broccoli
200g Puy lentils
1 litre hot vegetable stock
200g tenderstem broccoli
140g frozen soy beans, thawed
1 red chilli, seeded and finely sliced
For the dressing:
2 tblsp sesame oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 1/2 tblsp soy sauce
3cm knob ginger, finely grated
1 tblsp clear honey (replace this with 1/2 tsp sugar dissolved in a tblsp boiling water for a vegan variant)
1. Rinse the lentils very well to get rid of any gritty residue. Boil the lentils in the stock for about 15 minuted until just cooked. Drain, then tip into a large bowl.
2. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, throw in the broccoli for one minute, add the beans and sugar snap peas for one minute more. Drain, then cool under cold water. Pat dry, and add to the bowl with the lentils.
3. Mix together the dressing ingredients, with whatever seasoning required (if any). Pour over the salad, then mix in well with the sliced chilli.
4. Serve up, and revel in just how delicious salad can be!