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!
- 1 cup of green lentils
- 4 cups of watercress (thick stalks removed)
- 2/3 cup of parsley
- 2/3 cup of light olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of 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)
- 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, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and some salt and pepper in 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 with the lentils, asparagus, and most of the remaining watercress.
- Add pieces of cheese (if you’re using) as you plate the salad. Drizzle with walnut oil, and garnish with the reserved watercress.