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It is winter and some comfort food never goes amiss.   This recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen, my go to blog for tasty recipes.    I didn’t change it up too much – except for substituting Coriander for Parsley – the Coriander in the garden looked much, much too good not to use.     And I also paired the salad with another Smitten Kitchen recipe – Chicken Skewers with Dukkah – though took Deb’s suggestion of omitting the skewers.   Next time I think I would halve the dukkah and sub panko crumbs.  They were still tasty though – and great with aioli and a home-made chilli tomato chutney.    In fact the aioli and chutney go great with the salad too.

Lentil & Potato Salad

Serves between 4 and 6

2 large shallots, 1 halved, 1 finely diced,
4 sprigs of thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 cup dry small green lentils (smaller keep their shape better)
Salt and pepper
500g small potatoes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (my cupboard was bare, so used white wine vinegar with a splash of red wine that just happened to be open….)
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced or smashed to a paste (your preference)
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cornichons or other sour gherkins, roughly chopped
1 to 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped coriander

Cook lentils: Pick over and rinse lentils. Place them in a small/medium saucepan with the halved shallot, thyme, bay leaf, some salt and 4 cups of water. Simmer the lentils over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain (discarding shallot, thyme and bay leaf) and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook potatoes: Either boil or steam – until they are tender, but not too soft. Drain and keep warm.

Make the dressing: Place the chopped shallot and red wine vinegar in the bottom of a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in minced garlic, dijon, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and olive oil. Stir in chopped capers, cornichon and scallions.

Assemble salad: Slice potatoes into small chunks and place in serving bowl. Add lentils, dressing and all but 1 tablespoon coriander and combine. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Scatter salad with remaining coriander.

This can be a stand-alone lunch, maybe add a poached egg, or as a side.  Can be reheated – and keeps in fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!