It wasn’t until the Puy lentil hit restaurant menus just over 14 years ago that these ‘hippie grains’ became fashionable. For years they’d been dismissed as being too homely and too worthy. In this case it’s a good thing that ‘fashion’ stepped in. Lentils offer a really earthy flavour and texture, and they are truly delicious when cooked properly.
New Zealand has led the way in avocado oil production in recent years, and it’s well worth sourcing it for a variety of culinary applications – here it works wonders as a dressing alongside the fresh avocado.
Rinse the lentils and drain. Halve 1 of the onions, thinly slice it and sauté in the olive oil with the garlic until caramelized. Add the herbs and sauté for a further 2 minutes, then add the lentils with
Slice the remaining onion thinly into rings and mix with the vinegar, which will make it go a lovely pinky-red colour.
Make the pomegranate molasses and avocado oil dressing by whisking the ingredients together, then lightly season.
Split the avocados in half, remove the stones, peel off the skin and cut the flesh into chunks.
Put the lentils into a bowl with the avocado, beans, Baby Gem, half the onion and its vinegar, and the dressing. Toss everything together and then divide between 4 plates. Scatter over the remaining onion. This salad is also lovely served topped with a big dollop of thick plain yoghurt.
© 2005 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.