Quick Puy Lentil, Celery and Herb Salad

This recipe is another from the Guardian but this time from Meera Sodha (and image Louise Hagger/Guardian). I knew a few weeks ago there would be a good opportunity soon to make the best of some Spanish celery and fantastic local spring onions! Her aim was for this to be served alongside some Spring sunshine (present at time of writing) and makes an excellent lunchtime dish. The pickles and lentils are cheaper if DIY’d but if you’re in a rush then bought in and ready cooked will do just fine too!

Ingredients (Serves 2 with leftovers)
Prep (10-15 mins depending if making lentils & onions from scratch)
Cook (5-30 mins depending if making lentils & onions from scratch)

230g uncooked puy lentils (or 500g ready cooked)
1/2 red onion peeled and sliced wafer thin or 40 shop bought pickled and sliced red onions)
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
100g frozen, podded edamame beans defrosted
150g celery trimmed and cut wafer thin
20g mint leaves picked
40g spring onions trimmed and finely sliced
1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


If you’re cooking the lentils from scratch, rinse them well, tip into a small saucepan for which you have a lid and add 460ml water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils are cooked but still retain a little bite. Drain, wash under the cold tap so they stop cooking and put to one side.

Meanwhile, if you’re making your own pickled onions, put the sliced onion in a small bowl and cover with two tablespoons of red-wine vinegar and half a teaspoon of salt. Scrunch with your hands to wilt the onion, then leave to pickle for at least 10 minutes. Use 40g (drained weight) of the pickled onion for this dish; the rest will keep in the fridge for a few days for other salads or for sandwiches.

To assemble the salad, put everything in a bowl with the mustard, two tablespoons of red-wine vinegar and a teaspoon of salt, mix really well, then add more vinegar, salt or olive oil to taste. Eat straight away or pack into a lunchbox for later.