Lemony lentil and courgette salad
Another one of my favourite ways to use all the courgettes we’ve got in the garden at the moment.
Homegrown courgettes do have more flavour and a denser texture than shop bought ones but this was of cooking them really works well and will be good with either source of courgette.
Official ‘Puy” lentils have AOC regional protection meaning they can only be grown in the Puy area of France. They’re not very easy to find here but ‘green speckled lentils’ or ‘lentils vertes’ are what I use at home. You can find them in most supermarkets and certainly greengrocers or health food shops.
I always put a bay leaf, piece of onion and a little thyme in the cooking water. It makes a huge difference. The tiniest bit of onion is enough to flavour the the water. Ideally if you were using onion for something else you can just throw in the top and tail of that which would be enough to flavour this amount of lentils. If you aren’t using onion for anything else and don’t want an onion with a bit missing in your fridge you could use a spring onion instead.
Pre cooked puy lentils in a can or a pouch are also fine if you want to skip that step. You may need a little extra seasoning (oil/lemon/herbs etc) as they won’t have the extra flavour from the cooking water. Taste at the end and see what you need to add.
This courgette slicing could greatly improve your life.
I always remove the pithy centre from courgettes no matter what I’m using them for (unless grating them whole).It’s flavourless and watery and could be the reason you think you don’t like courgettes.
Cut them in half lengthways and again in half lengthways to make quarters. You will be able to see where the firm flesh ends and the pith begins. Run your knife along the length to remove the pith.
Makes a perfect lunchbox.
I would either assemble it all the night before exactly like this or if it occurred to me I would keep the courgettes separate and just mix them in right before eating. They stay slightly fresher when they’re not sitting with the lemon juice all night.
You could do this by putting the lemony lentils and herbs on the bottom of your container and the courgettes on top. As long as you don’t jog to work with this in a knapsack they should still be separate by lunchtime and you can just mix to combine.
Because I’m annoying I would probably also bring a little jar with some extra lemon juice and oil to add before eating.
Lemony Lentil and Courgette Salad
- Frying pan
- Mixing bowl
- Chopping knife
- Chopping board
- Sieve or colander
- Weighing scales or cup measure
- 200 g puy lentils aka green speckled lentils (see notes)
- 1 slice onion See notes for more info
- 1/4 tsp thyme leaves Fresh or dried
- 1 Bay leaf Fresh or dried
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 large courgette about 300g
- 1/2 a lemon Zest and juice
- 2 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil or oil of choice
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- 30 g fresh parsley finely chopped
- 15 g fresh chives finely chopped
- 3/4 tsp Sea salt
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
- Place the lentils in a large pot of cold, unsalted water with the onion slice, bay leaf and thyme. You need at least 4 times as much water as lentils. Place over a high heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 mins. Cooking time will vary a little depending on the lentils you've got and how fast your water came to a boil. Taste with a fork towards the end of cooking. They should be tender all the way through but not mushy. Drain and set aside once cooked.
- While the lentils are cooking, slice the courgette in half lengthways and again lengthways to make quarters. Remove the pith by running your knife along the length (see picture in notes). Then cut widthways along the length to make small pieces roughly the same lenght as width.
- Sautee the courgette in a large frying pan with 1 tbsp of the oil and the salt and pepper for about a minute. Then add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for two more minutes, stirring most of the time. They should just be cooked through but not brown or going soggy.
- In a large bowl toss together the hot lentils and courgettes with the lemon juice, lemon zest and the second tablespoon of oil.
- Allow to cool a little before adding the herbs.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- I love this with a creamy potato salad as pictured. Also great as a quick lunch on it's own or with some quartered cherry tomatoes in the mix.
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