Here in the Season’s Eatings kitchen we’re as busy as always, and with the nights drawing in so early, it feels like there is so little time in the day….where you want to do any work. So any excuse to be able to get a meal on the table and within 30 minutes is a winner in our book. This recipe for our autumnal salad with puy lentils and red onions cooked in red wine and balsamic vinegar is simple to make and filling to eat. The dark colours of the lentils and wine reflecting the so-often moody British skies this time of year.
This recipe serves two people, and although is a perfectly delicious vegetarian autumnal salad, it can be enjoyed with a few large cubes of fried pancetta tossed in. Or, as so often happens in our kitchen, topped with a cooked chicken breast or two.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 180g puy lentils
- 200g spinach
- 2 red onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1½ tsp dried thyme
- handful of fresh parsley
- handful of fresh coriander
- 1 glass red wine – our measure if 125ml, so feel free to drink the rest of the bottle, it would be a shame to go to waste.
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Cook the Puy lentils according to the packet instructions, which will likely be in boiling water for approximately 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile peel and chop the onion and garlic and fry in 2 tbsp of olive oil (not Extra Virgin) with the dried thyme and a pinch of salt, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the red wine and balsamic vinegar to the frying pan with the onions and garlic, giving a good stir and leaving to cook over a low-medium heat until almost all the liquid has evaporated. The onions should now have darkened, absorbing the colours and flavours of the liquids. Turn the heat down as low as it will go.
- Once cooked, drain and rinse the Puy lentils and add to the pan with the cooked onions, stirring together.
- Meanwhile wilt the spinach leaves in the pan you used for the lentils, with a dribble of water from the kettle. Once deflated, add the spinach to the Puy lentils being careful not to let too much leftover spinach liquid into the lentil dish.
- Finely chop the parsley and coriander, and add to the pan, reserving a handful to scatter over when serving.
- Stir everything together carefully until well mixed and then serve.