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Maryann's recipe: Lentils vinaigrette

Lentils used to have a bad reputation - and were a frequent butt of jokes. But if you'd like to save some money, eat healthier and improve your relationship with your gut, I have found lentils to be a versatile and indeed delicious ingredient.

We've had this warm salad on our menu as our vegan option. It's proved popular so I thought we would share the recipe. It is also delicious as a side dish to sausages, chicken or fish.

Serves four to six, vegan


  • 250g puy lentils
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 4 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • Olive oil for cooking and for the vinaigrette
  • 2 teaspoons coarse grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Gently sweat the onions until soft. Add the diced carrot and celery and finely chopped garlic and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes. Add the lentils and cook for 5 minutes before adding the hot stock.
  2. Bring to the boil and continue cooking for a further 15 minutes until the lentils are soft. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Now make the vinaigrette. In a glass bowl, put in a couple of teaspoons of mustard and slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly. When there is about 100ml of mayonnaise-like dressing, slowly add in a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. If the dressing is too thick, add a squeeze of lemon or water.
  4. Mix the vinaigrette into the lentils and serve.

We topped the lentils vinaigrette with oven roasted romesco cauliflower, leeks fried in butter and chopped flat leaf parsley.