Seasonal local food recipe No.299 – Jack Monroe’s lentil, bean and kale salad

I have made this Jack Monroe salad twice recently, once with curly kale and today with cavelo nero and both times it was delicious. It is even easier if you use a tin of black-eyed beans and lentils that do not need pre-soaking such as puy lentils.

Serves 4 for lunch

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

100 g dried brown or green lentils
100 g dried black-eyed or haricot beans
8 sundried tomatoes, chopped
A handful of black olives, chopped
A fistful of parsley, torn
80 g kale, rinsed and chopped
For the dressing:
1 fat clove garlic, minced
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
130 ml olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced

Soak the lentils and beans for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight. Meanwhile, make your dressing – a good steeping in oil and acid will calm the chilli and garlic and meld the flavours. Put the garlic, chilli, oil, lemon zest and some of the lemon juice into a lidded jar, screw on the lid tightly and shake vigorously to emulsify.  Unscrew, taste and add more lemon juice if needed.

When you are ready to make the salad, thoroughly rinse the lentils and beans, then put them in a pan of unsalted, cold water. Bring to the boil, scrape off any scum and boil vigorously for 10 minutes.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with hot water.  Meanwhile, warm the dressing in a small saucepan over a low heat.

Toss all the other salad ingredients together with the warm pulses – there is no need to cook the kale as the warmth of the beans, lentils and dressing will soften it sufficiently.  Add the dressing to taste and serve.

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