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  • Recipe Room  »  Lentil salad with celery leaves



    • ½ cup (100 g) organic puy-style lentils
    • ¹⁄₃ cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
    • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 30 g traditionally smoked belly bacon, trimmed of skin and cut into 1 cm pieces
    • 1 onion, roughly chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
    • ¼ cup (60 ml) verjuice
    • 2 tomatoes, diced
    • 2 sticks celery, finely diced, pale green leaves roughly chopped and reserved
    • 4 sprigs lemon thyme, leaves picked and chopped
    • handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
    • 25 g Parmigiano Reggiano (optional), shaved

    Lentil salad with celery leaves

    I used to be of the school of thought that eating lentils was, dare I say it, almost a punishment. Then I found I could get fresh, locally grown organic lentils from Nolans Road on South Australia’s Limestone Coast. They produce both puy-style lentils and the larger, more robust green lentils (they call this variety ‘Matilda’). Lentils are now a favourite food of mine, and I love to match them with Black Pig belly bacon and the freshest, greenest extra virgin olive oil I have.


    Place the lentils in a saucepan, cover with 3 cups (750 ml) water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

    Cook for 15–18 minutes or until tender, making sure the water does not boil.

    Drain the lentils, transfer to a bowl and drizzle over half the oil and season with sea salt to taste. Set aside and keep warm.

    Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium–high heat, then add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain, then set aside.

    Meanwhile, return the frying pan to medium–high heat and add the remaining oil. Cook the onion for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

    Reduce the heat to medium, then stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high, then add the verjuice and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until the verjuice has almost evaporated.

    Season with a good pinch of sea salt, remove from the heat and add to the warm lentils, along with the reserved bacon, and stir to combine. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

    Place the tomato, celery, celery leaves, thyme and parsley into a large bowl, season and toss together.

    Add the cooled lentil mixture and gently stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then add an extra drizzle of olive oil if required.

    Scatter over the shaved Parmigiano just before serving, if using.

    This recipe was provided to Foodwise from the book “Maggie’s Verjuice Cookbook” by Maggie Beer and photography by Sharyn Cairns, published by Lantern rrp $39.95. 

    Submitted by
    Maggie Beer

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