Grilled Onion, Pepper and Lentil Salad

From Moro East, this grilled onion, pepper and lentil salad recipe makes for an irresistible vegetarian dish. Finish with a garlic and red wine vinegar dressing.

Introduction

Once you have mastered the art of grilling onions, try this combination.

Serves 4

Ingredients

175g small brown lentils
300g small new season’s onions with tops on (or spring onions), roots trimmed
2 red peppers
1 small bunch (about 20g) of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
For the dressing:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar with ½ tsp sugar, or sherry or Pedro Ximenez vinegar
½ small garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a pinch of salt

Instructions

To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put the lentils in a saucepan and cover generously with water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are just cooked but still firm, as it is important that they retain their shape. Remove from the heat, season with a little salt and set aside.

Grill the onions and peppers whole over a hot barbecue, or directly on the naked flame of a gas hob or under the grill, for 15-20 minutes, until the skin is charred and crisp all over and the flesh is very soft. Cover with cling film or place in a plastic bag to soften the skins. When cool enough to handle, pick any blackened skin off the onions and tear them into 5cm lengths. Peel and seed the peppers and tear them into strips, then put them in a large mixing bowl along with the onions and parsley. Drain the warm lentils, reserving 3-4 tablespoons of their liquid, and add them to the bowl with the reserved liquid and the dressing. Toss well and check for seasoning.

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