This beautiful salad, Winter Salad of Lentils, Celeriac, Mushrooms and Fresh Goat’s cheese with Parsley Vinaigrette, is from Salades by Damien Pignolet. He says “This substantial salad suits being served during the cooler months as an entree or main course followed by a cheese such as Roquefort and a simple leaf salad for a light lunch. The gentle, earthy flavours contrast with the acidity of the goat’s cheese and the freshness of the sage.”
120g Puy-style lentils
2 cloves garlic, any green shoot removed, i lightly smashed and 1 whole
120ml extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch curly leaf parsley, leaves picked, washed and thoroughly dried and 8 stalks reserved
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
20ml walnut oil or hazelnut oil 30ml aged sherry vinegar or to taste 1 small head celeriac, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
400g button mushroom, stalks removed caps thinly sliced
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
180g fresh goat’s cheese, crumble into small pieces
6 sage leaves, torn into small pieces
1. Discard any small stones from the lentils and rinse with cold water, Place the lentils in a saucepan with the smashed garlic, 20ml of the olive oil and th parsley stalks tied with a piece of kitchen twine. Add a little salt and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or more until tender, tasting and adjusting the salt level after 15 minutes. Drain, discarding the garlic and parsley stalks.
2. Meanwhile, set aside one-third of the parsley leaves to be finely chopped. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil with the whole garlic clove and simmer for a few minutes, then add the remaining parsley leaves. Boil for 5 minutes, or until the leaves are very soft indeed. Drain, discard the garlic and refresh the parsley in a sieve under cold running water. Drain again and squeeze out some of the water. Place the blanched parsley in a blender, then add a little salt and pepper, the remaining olive oil, the nut oil and 20ml of the vinegar. Blend until smooth, then adjust the acidity with more vinegar to sharp finish and correct the seasoning.
3. Moisten the warm lentils with some of the parsley vinaigrette. Add the celeriac, mushroom and grated lemon zest, then moisten with more vinaigrette and toss gently.
4 Slice the tips off the lemon so that it sits firmly on a chopping board. Using a sharp paring knife and holding the lemon with the other hand, run the knife close to the flesh and remove the skin and pith following the contour of the fruit. Holding the lemon over a bowl with one hand, slice between each fillet to extract them. Dice the flesh into small pieces, discarding the seeds. Mix the lemon pieces with the lentil and celeriac mixture.
5. Finely chop the remaining parsley. Distribute the salad between 6 deep entree plates, then scatter with the goat’s cheese, sage and parsley.
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