Extend spring cleaning past the closet and do something good for your body with culinary authority Jenny Chandler. Her latest book, The Better Bean Cookbook, extols the virtues of vegetarian, protein-packed legumes and offers a world of ways to prepare them. Hot-smoked salmon and tender boiled eggs complement this lentil salad for a light but satisfying lunch or dinner.
A wonderful light summer lunch. Everything can be prepared well ahead and then assembled just before serving. Hot-smoked salmon has a great texture, more akin to poached salmon than smoked. Some adventurous cooks hot-smoke their own fish, but I’m keeping this quick and simple.
- 7 ounces fine green beans, topped but not tailed
- 4 cornichons or small gherkins, sliced
- 4 (3-ounce) fillets hot-smoked salmon, flaked into large pieces
- 3 eggs, boiled for 6 minutes, shelled and quartered
Simple lentil salad
- 1 1/4 cups Puy or Castelluccio lentils, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 scallions, finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Herby crème fraîche
- 3 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Put the lentils in a pan with the bay leaf and cover with about 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until tender but stil intact.
- Drain the lentils, reserving their cooking liquid, and while still warm add the scallions, vinegar, garlic and olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
- Leave to cool, then stir in the chopped parsley. If the salad seems dry, add a little of the lentil cooking liquid.
- Steam or boil the green beans until just tender and then refresh them under the cold tap to keep them crisp and bright. Drain well.
- Stir the cornichons and green beans through the lentil salad, taste and check the seasoning.
- Mix together the crème fraîche, herbs and mustard and season to taste. Crème fraîche is naturally slightly sour, but you might want to add a dash of vinegar or lemon juice.
- Arrange the salmon and eggs on top of the lentils and serve with a spoonful of the crème fraîche.
Try out these salmon dishes on Food Republic: