Warm Carrot, Puy Lentil and Summer Savory Salad

Ingredients & Method

For the honey nuts

For the carrot and Puy lentil salad

For the honey nuts, line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan until hot, then add the pecan halves and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Toast the nuts and seeds over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes or until they start to turn golden, stirring continuously to prevent the nuts from burning. Add the honey and keep heating and stirring for a further 1–2 minutes or until the nuts are a deep golden colour. Transfer the honey nuts to the prepared baking tray, then set aside and leave to cool completely.

For the carrot and Puy lentil salad, place the Puy lentils in a small saucepan, cover with plenty of cold water and bring to a gentle simmer, then cook, uncovered, for 15–20 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and tender. Season with salt, then drain well, place in a bowl, set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, wash the carrots, then remove the top green leaves but leave the long roots on as they look pretty. If the carrots are very fresh, there is no need to peel them, otherwise, you can peel them, if you prefer. Cook the carrots in a pan of boiling salted water for 8–10 minutes or until cooked and tender (cooking time will depend on their size). Drain well, then mix with the cooked Puy lentils, set aside and keep warm.

Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan until hot, then add the strips of pepper and the garlic and sauté over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes or until softened and starting to turn golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, then add the combined cooked Puy lentils and carrots and cook for a further 2 minutes or until heated through. Add the honey, orange zest and juice, soy sauce and ginger and cook for 2 minutes or so, until the liquid thickens and starts to coat the carrots.

Transfer the cooked carrot mixture to a serving dish, then fold in the nigella seeds, toasted honey nuts and summer savory and serve immediately. Serve as a side dish with roast chicken, pan-roasted duck or confit duck leg, grilled pork chops, crisp turkey escalopes or homemade chicken Goujons.