Lentil and Pickled shallot salad – with Berbere croutons

Another great Ottolenghi salad from his book "NOPI", this time with lentils, pickled shallot and berbere croutons.

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I’m still making my way through “Nopi”. Another great Ottolenghi salad, this time with lentils, pickled shallot and berbere croutons.

True to form Ottolenghi throws in a few ingredients that will take you on a journey into the unknown …. like Fairfield in Sydney’s west. Thank you to Mrs. Jenny Coopes of Glebe for pointing me in the direction of Galluzzos, 187 Glebe Point Road who will, with enough warning, source the banana shallot and the black radish for this dish.

The Berbere spice mix I couldn’t find locally but you will find it in Fairfield. I used, as instructed, the hot smoked paprika instead.


Ingredients – Serves 6- 8

300g Puy lentils
8 banana shallots ( you can use ordinary shallots ) thinly sliced
75ml olive oil
2 tbsp Valdespino sherry vinegar
150g crustless sourdough bread torn into 2cm chunks
1 1/2 tsp berbere spice ( or 1tsp hot smoked paprika )
25g coriander leaves picked whole or roughly chopped
20g rocket roughly chopped
1 large golden beetroot ( or purple beetroot) washed, skin left on sliced 2-3 mm thick
1/2 large black radish, wash skin left on, sliced 2-3mm thick
to small red radishes, washed skin lepton, sliced 2-3 mm thick
coarse sea salt and black pepper


1tbsp Valdespino sherry vinegar
1tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
11/2 tsp orange blossom honey ( or other floral variety)
3 tbsp olive oil


1. Rinse the lentils and place them in a medium saucepan. cover with water, bring to the boil and let cook for 15-20 minutes on a medium heat, until cooked but still retaining a bite. Strain, then rinse under cold water and set aside until completely dry.

2, Preheat the oven to 180 C/-160C fan/gas mark 4.

3.Place the shallots in a mixing bowl with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread them out on a parchment-lined tray and roast in the oven for about 12 minutes, until they are soft but have not taken on any colour. Remove from the oven pour over the sherry vinegar, mis well and set aside to cool.

4. Place the sourdough pieces in a small missing bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the berbers spice. Mis well, spread out on a prchment-lined tray and roast for 12-15 minutes, until crusty and light holder-brown. Set aside to cool

5. Place alll ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl with 1 1/2teaspoons of salt and good grind of black pepper. Mix well and set aside.

6. Just before serving, place the lentils and pickled shallots in a large bowl with the coriander, rocket, beetroot, both radishes and half the croutons. Pour over the dressing, mix well to combine, transfer to a large platter, sprinkle the remaining croutons on top and serve.


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Comments 1

  1. Lentils are not exactly a love of my life …. but as used in this salad in combination with the other textures and flavours, they become terrific. A great, health, delicious meal.

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