Green Lentils, Asparagus and Watercress

This is a wonderful salad to serve with a meal, or on its own. It is healthy and perfect at any time of the year, since all of the ingredients are readily available. It is one of Jeff’s Faves!

Ingredients:  1 cup green lentils 4 cups watercress (thick stalks removed) 2/3 cup parsley 2/3 cup light olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1 garlic clove, peeled salt and pepper 1 large bunch of thin asparagus spears  3 1/2 oz of semi mature pecorino or one of the more full bodied varieties of Machengo, broken into chunks. walnut oil to finish (optional)   Directions:  Wash the lentils in cold water, then place them in a saucepan with fresh water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the lentils are just cooked but haven’t started to disintegrate.  While the lentils are cooking, put half the watercress, the parsley, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and some salt and pepper into a food processor. Blitz until smooth. Pour into a bowl.  As soon as the lentils are cooked, drain them well and mix them, while still hot, with the watercress dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning; you will likely need more salt.  Cook the asparagus in simmering salted water for 2 to 3 minutes; drain. Cut the spears into roughly 2 1/2 inch long segments.  You can serve the salad warm or at room temperature. Toss together the lentils, asparagus and most of the remaining watercress. Add pieces of cheese, (if you are using), as you plate the salad. Drizzle with walnut oil, (if you are using), and garnish with the reserved watercress.

Ingredients:

1 cup green lentils
4 cups watercress (thick stalks removed)
2/3 cup parsley
2/3 cup light olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled
salt and pepper
1 large bunch of thin asparagus spears
3 1/2 oz of semi mature pecorino or one of the more full bodied varieties of Machengo, broken into chunks.
walnut oil to finish (optional)

Directions:

Wash the lentils in cold water, then place them in a saucepan with fresh water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the lentils are just cooked but haven’t started to disintegrate.

While the lentils are cooking, put half the watercress, the parsley, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and some salt and pepper into a food processor. Blitz until smooth. Pour into a bowl.

As soon as the lentils are cooked, drain them well and mix them, while still hot, with the watercress dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning; you will likely need more salt.

Cook the asparagus in simmering salted water for 2 to 3 minutes; drain. Cut the spears into roughly 2 1/2 inch long segments.

You can serve the salad warm or at room temperature. Toss together the lentils, asparagus and most of the remaining watercress. Add pieces of cheese, (if you are using), as you plate the salad. Drizzle with walnut oil, (if you are using), and garnish with the reserved watercress.

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