toasted spiced

lentil salad

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 x 400g (14 oz) cans lentils, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup (60ml/2 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout (see tips + tricks)
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 4 cups (100g/3½ oz) baby spinach leaves
  • 2 bulbs baby fennel, shaved lengthways
  • 2 firm pears, thinly sliced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil, extra, to serve
  • ⅓ cup (50g/1¾ oz) shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F). Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. 
  2. Place the onion, lentils, oil, ras el hanout, salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Divide the mixture between the trays and roast for 20 minutes or until the onion and lentils are crisp.
  3. While the lentils are roasting, place the spinach, fennel, pear, lemon juice, salt and extra oil in a large bowl and gently toss to combine. 
  4. Divide the lentils and salad between serving plates.Drizzle with extra oil and sprinkle with the pistachios to serve. Serves 4

TIPS + TRICKS
+ Ras el hanout is something I always have on-hand in my pantry – it’s a North African spice mix (read: great shortcut to flavour) with up to 20 spices in one little jar! Think cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, chilli, coriander, paprika and turmeric. Find it in spice shops and greengrocers. 

+ You can use canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in place of the lentils, if you prefer.

+ Crumble feta over this salad for a flavour-boost finish.

Photography: Con Poulos

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