I found myself on London Road, Brighton for the first time in ages the other day for a meeting but as I was hours early I headed to the charity shops which are always great for food props - much better than flea markets because they're dirt cheap and some even have endearing chips and knocks. I find new props always inspires to cook and it just so happened that I spotted a gorgeous recipe while flicking through a copy of Homes & Garden (some photos I did for Workshop are due anytime soon which is always exciting) and concocted my own version of it the next day with what I had in. I adore puy lentils - I keep jars of them in the larder and often use them when I'm running low on food in the fridge but also they're a great wheat free lunch alternative to sandwiches which is high in good protein and therefore good for keeping the blood sugar balanced. You can make a simple puy lentil base at the weekend and it will keep in the fridge for a few days then you can add what you like - tear in some mackerel and pop a wedge of lemon in the box with them, shake in some halloumi chunks with some celery or just have with a lovely dressing. Anyway.. I digress, you could of course have them just like this...
Subtle flavours make this dish so you'll need to dress the lentils a good time in advance or the day before.
Recipe // Puy lentil, anchovy and egg salad
Light lunch or dinner
- 250g puy lentils
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small bunch flat parsley, chopped
- 3 good quality eggs
- handful small salad leaves - I used chicory tips but you can use whatever you fancy
- Large pinch or two of fresh cress or purple amaranth
- tbsp rapeseed oil
- 9-12 anchovies
- For the dressing:
- tsp mustard, wholegrain or dijon
- 1 small clove garlic, chopped or grated
- 1 tbsp sherry or cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Put the puy lentils in a large saucepan and generously cover with water, bring to boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the lentils are tender.
- In the meantime, mix together the dressing ingredients and fry the onions in the rapeseed oil until softened.
- Drain the lentils and rinse with fresh boiling water. Now add the onions, the parsley and 3/4 of the dressing. When cool put in fridge, the longer you can leave the better but at least 3 hours - bring back to or temperature before serving.
- Slowly lower the eggs into a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 6.5 minutes, then bring them out quickly and run under the cold water tap. Shell them and carefully slice in half with a sharp knife.
- Arrange the lentils on your plates or shallow bowls, add some salad leaves and cress then top with 3-4 anchovies and an egg each.
- Finally, dress with the remaining dressing.
Formally Emma Gutteridge