This delicious and satisfying Puy lentil salad is a great make ahead dish and takes just 25 minutes to prepare.
This dish has a wonderful mixture of complementing flavours, with different textures.
My kids love Puy lentils and this is a family favourite. It is perfect as a light meal, in a lunch-box, or as a side with grilled meats or fish. I always make a large amount as it tastes even better the next day!
What are Puy lentils?
They are very different from the other lentils which benefit from prolonged cooking (such as dals), becoming mushy once tender.
Puy are small grey-green speckled lentils. The only lentil named after its area of cultivation, Puy lentils have been cultivated in Le Puy-en-Velay, in France, for the last 2000 years. They are said to have superior gastronomic qualities due to the incredibly fertile volcanic soil of the area.
Like many French cheeses, Puy lentils are protected by the AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée), in France which certifies their Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). When purchasing, check for the AOC sign on the packet.
This certification means there are strict guidelines on where and how the lentils are grown:
- They can only be grown, harvested and packed in the Puy area.
- The farmers cannot use pesticides and cannot grow the lentils on the same plot of land for 2 years in a row.
Puy lentils can be eaten hot or cold and are incredibly tasty with a wonderful earthy and unique peppery flavour. Unlike other lentils, they keep their shape after cooking and have a good firm bite, making them perfect for salads.
They are also rich in protein and fibre and low in saturated fat.
How to make Puy lentil salad
- Wash and drain the Puy lentils and cook in a simple vegetable stock. (I use the Knorr vegetable stockpots, dissolved in warm water.)
- Wash and drain the rice, then cook till tender.
- Mix the lentils, rice, borlotti beans and celery, in a large mixing bowl. Select a good quality can of borlotti beans and do not drain as the liquid adds wonderful flavour.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve at room temperature.
A great make ahead dish
Great for barbecues or picnics, this is a perfect make ahead dish as it tastes even better once it has rested for a few hours/overnight.
Store in the fridge for up to 2 days and remove an hour before serving.
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Puy Lentil Salad
- Rinse and drain the puy lentils, then transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rinse and drain the rice, transfer to a medium saucepan and add a pinch of salt and hot water. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the lentils, rice, borlotti beans, and celery. Season with salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish with chopped parsley.