ASPARAGUS& LENTIL SALAD
This flavoursome salad is comprised of favourite Italian flavours bound together with a little bit of France by way of the lentils. It’s the perfect salad for newseason asparagus. 1 litre vegetable stock 2 cups green puy lentils, washed and checked
for stones 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed ¼ cup pine nuts 1 dried, cured chorizo sausage, cut into
thick slices ½ cup pitted olives, chopped 50g parmesan, shredded
1 small shallot, finely chopped (roughly
2 tablespoons) 1 tablespoon capers, finely chopped ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil Bring stock to the boil, add lentils and cook for 20-30 minutes on a rolling boil until lentils are tender. Drain and season with sea salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Have a large bowl of iced water nearby. Add asparagus to the pot and cook until just tender (how long will depend on the thickness of the asparagus, but around 3 minutes is a rough guide). Plunge into iced water to stop them overcooking then drain.
Put pine nuts in a dry frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes until toasted. Remove to a plate.
In the same pan, fry the sliced chorizo for a couple of minutes until the oils release (this intensifies the f lavour). Remove to the plate.
Dressing: Place the chopped shallot, capers, mustard, vinegar and olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Dress t he lentils with most of the dressing. Pile the asparagus, pine nuts, chorizo and olives on top. Drizzle with remaining dressing, sprinkle with parmesan and serve. Serves 4