Why Lentil and Walnut Salad?
An Australian Autumn is here again. There is something special about this season that I can never really put my finger on. I think it is because it is a time of year in a time of year that doesn’t know if it is coming or going. The mornings and nights are cooler however midday is just as beautiful and warm as summer.
People seem to act accordingly to this somewhat miss match season by trying to blend summer and the coming winter together in a way that only Australians can. You don’t know whether to stay indoors and entertain or go out to parks to relish in the sun on a cool day soaking up the rays. You see people walking the streets rugged up with jumpers while wearing thongs and sandals. Or others who are wearing a light summer dress with stockings and then there are those who will deny the weather and dress in a winter ensemble or a beach summer dress when you can tell they are so uncomfortable with their choice.
To be honest I can’t help myself but use this time of year as an excuse to do the mix matching I crave to do all year. Food included.
Warm Salads. There is something unique with those two words put together. Warm food – you think of roasts, soups, legumes grains and hearty robust flavours. Salads – you think of crisp cool lettuces, refreshing ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers and zingy salad dressings.
This salad is exactly that. It is my dedication to celebrate the oddness of autumn.
200g dried brown Lentils, soaked for a minimum 2 hours
200g dried Puy Lentils, soaked for a minimum 2 hours
1 bunch flat parsley
1/2 bunch spring onions
1 bunch basil
60 gr walnuts
150 g soft fetta
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons walnut oil (or any nut oil or a fruity olive oil)
Roughly chop the parsley, basil and spring onions and place in a large bowl.
Boil the lentils separately in salted water until they are al dente (this should take 10-20 minutes depending on how long they have soaked). Drain and leave covered to stay warm.
Meanwhile toast the walnuts in a dry fry pan until you smell a nutty aroma. Combine with the lentils and herbs. Add the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and toss. Serve with fetta crumbled on the top.
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side.