This salad may be eaten on it’s own or as part of a selection of salads. (Warm crispy bacon or pickled pork is good with it also.)
Soak the beans in cold water separately overnight. Lentils do not need to be soaked. Cook the pulses in separate saucepans; cover each with cold water and add a carrot, onion and bouquet garni to each saucepan. Do not add salt to the beans until almost cooked. Beans take anything from 20–60 minutes to cook depending on variety and age. Lentils take about 10 minutes. They should be soft, but still hold their shape. (Keep the cooking liquids – they may be used as a base for a bean or lentil soup and are full of vitamins.)
Whisk or liquidize the ingredients for French dressing together; it should be very well seasoned and quite sharp. Make sure the pulses are well drained. While they are still warm, toss the beans and lentils in the French dressing, using enough just to coat the pulses. Taste and season well with salt and freshly ground pepper, and fold in the chopped parsley and basil.
© 2001 Darina Allen. All rights reserved.