Lentil salad

Lentil salad

Insalata di lenticchie

Sharing Puglia
Alicia Taylor

These protein-packed legumes are a staple in Pugliese cuisine. Dried lentils need to be soaked overnight in water. However, if you are time-poor, buy tinned organic lentils but drain and rinse them well before use. Pugliese custom has it that people eat a dish made from lentils on New Year’s Day. The lentils are reminiscent of small coins and ensure that you won’t be short of money during the coming year.


Quantity Ingredient
300g dried green or brown lentils
1 bay leaf
1 carrot, chopped into 3 pieces
1 onion
40g pine nuts
60ml olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
handful flat-leaf parsley
150g soft goat’s cheese, cut into small pieces
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  1. Soak the dried lentils in water overnight. Drain and wash the lentils thoroughly under running water.
  2. Place the lentils, bay leaf, carrot and whole onion in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Simmer slowly over low heat for 20 –25 minutes until the lentils are soft but still hold their shape. Drain well and discard the onion and carrot.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over low heat for a few minutes, until fragrant and golden. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl, place the olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and the lemon juice and whisk thoroughly. Add the cooked lentils, tomato, capers and parsley. Mix well. Place the lentil salad in the refrigerator for about 2 hours so the flavours can combine.
  5. When ready to serve, bring the salad back to room temperature and top with the goat’s cheese and scatter generously with the toasted pine nuts. Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over, add pepper to taste and serve.
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