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45 mins

A tasty lentil salad with roasted sweet potatoes, balsamic and chargrilled peppers.
A great combo of earthy lentils, zingy garlicky dressing, sweet roasted vegetables and fresh mint, can be served as a main for lunch with a bit of crusty bread, or as a side dish to spanish omelettes, pastry dishes and pizza. It works great as a potluck or BBQ dish, and unlike leaf-based salads it will happily keep for several days in the fridge.

Posted by Chef Smee from London, United Kingdom • Published See Chef Smee's 11 projects »
  • Step 1

    Mix the sweet potato, red onion, thyme, fennel seed, allspice and a good pinch of salt and pepper in a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes at 180°C, until the sweet potato is soft and just beginning to caramelise. Whilst that's cooking, roast the bell peppers in a pair of tongues or on skewers directly over an open gas flame BBQ, caveman style, until completely blackened on all sides. If you don't have a gas stove, grilling will also work - the important thing is to get them thoroughly softened and black on all sides. Once they are at this stage, place both the peppers inside a lidded Tupperware container or sealed plastic bag, and allow to cool in their own steam for about 10 minutes.

  • Step 2

    When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off most of the blackened skin (leaving on a few bits won't matter) and chop off the stalks, and remove most of the seeds. Roughly chop the roasted peppers and add them to a large bowl with the puy lentils, and roasted sweet potato and onion.

  • Step 3

    Make a dressing by mixing the garlic clove, balsamic vinegar, sugar, oils and a good pinch of salt and black pepper in an old jam jar, put the lid back on tightly and shake well until the dressing emulsifies. Taste for seasoning (the sweetness needed will vary depending on the balsamic vinegar you're using) and then add the dressing to the lentil and veg mixture. Toss in the fresh herbs and serve.

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