A little while back now, we talked salads. Not only did I share this tasty tabbouleh recipe with you all, but I also shared (perhaps a little too enthusiastically) my love of salads in all their glorious forms.
Two months and only two salads later, it’s definitely time for another salad! And this gorgeous Lentil, pea and red cabbage salad with mint and feta seems like the perfect choice.
It’s a little creation of mine, which I’ve been dreaming about for a long time now and finally made for lunch on Monday.
Not to get too off topic, but the reason I’d been dreaming about it for so long, rather than just making it was to do with one of the key ingredients. Puy lentils. I’m a big fan of puy lentils, and would go so far as to say that all other lentil varieties pale in comparison. I love their rich nutty flavour and when cooked correctly, they hold their form a lot better than most other varieties.
When I was living in the UK, puy lentils featured in at least one if not more meals a week. The fact that there was a brand of high quality, pre-cooked, vacuum packed puy lentils at my local supermarket may have also contributed to how often I ate them. A pack or two of these became a basic staple in my pantry. Unfortunately, since returning to Australia last year I’ve been unable to source either the vacuum packed or dried variety in my local supermarkets. So you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled across a packet of dried puy lentils a couple of weeks ago!
So that is the story behind how this salad came from the place of dreams into reality.
I love the pop of colour the red cabbage adds amongst the lush green hues of the peas and mint and the lentils add a lovely nutty flavour. You could opt to go without the feta, but I think its saltiness and creamy texture adds a little more substance and flavour to the dish. I served mine with a simple homemade french dressing, which worked really well.
As far as salads go, this is fairly simple. I think it makes a great lunch on its own, but could work quite nicely served as a side to steak or chicken. If you’re tempted to give it a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to cooking dried pulses I’m a little lazy. If you are too, then maybe consider cooking more than is necessary for the salad – that way you can use the remainder to add to other dishes later in the week.
- 1 cup cooked puy lentils
- 1 cup peas, cooked
- 100g red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
- 100g feta, crumbled
- a couple of handfuls of mint leaves
- 90 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 30 ml white wine vinegar
- 1/2 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- While the cooked peas and lentils are cooling, start by making the dressing.
- Add all of the dressing ingredients into a small, clean jar. Close the lid tightly and shake well. Sample the dressing before serving. If too tart, you may need to add a pinch or so of caster sugar to balance the flavours.
- To make the salad, place the peas and puy lentils in a bowl.
- Add the red cabbage, spring onions, mint leaves and crumbled feta.
- Toss with a small amount of dressing to lightly coat the salad.
- To cook dried puy lentils, rinse under cold water and then boil in a saucepan together with three times the quantity of water to lentils for between 20-25 minutes.
- To cook fresh peas, place in a saucepan with sufficient water and bring to the boil for 2-3 minutes. Once cooked, drain and refresh under cold water. (For frozen peas follow packet instructions, then drain and refresh).