I love warm salads any time of the year. This earthy and tempting combination is perfect for late summer when aubergines and fennel are plentiful.
For years, I’ve been combining these grainy, legume salads, in many guises. Apart from being delicious, they are excellent to prepare ahead and to return to after a busy day, they make great leftovers too! Minimal equipment and space required, so perfect for our tiny kitchens.
As with all salads, you can easily replace ingredients with what you have available, for example, swap courgette instead of aubergine. Goats cheese or halloumi would be good substitutes for the feta, although feta does have that slight sharpness which goes well with these veggies.
Portions: 2 – 3
Prep & Cook Time: Just over 1 hour
Cookware: Large foil-covered roasting tray
Oven: 200C / Gas 6
- 1 aubergine – 2cm cubed
- 1 red onion – finely sliced into semi-circles
- 1 small fennel bulb – sliced
- 1 bell pepper – chopped
- garlic cloves – skin on – as many as you like
- 6 new potatoes – cubed
- 1 pack / tin puy / green lentils – 250g drained weight
- mixed salad leaves, of choice
- basil / parsley leaves, to taste
- feta – cubed (I use 2/3’s of a pack but add as much as you like)
Prepare all vegetables as explained (top 6 items) pop onto the roasting tray, drizzle with a little oil a sprinkle of salt then mix well.
Roast in a hot oven 200c / Gas 6 for 30 – 40 minutes (depending on your oven) so check and turn occasionally.
Whilst roasting, make the lemon dressing.
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon – zested and juiced (I love anything lemony)
- 2 tsp sugar / honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- pinch of chilli flakes, to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic – crushed (optional)
I put all ingredients in a glass screw-top jar and shake well until combined.
Once all the veggies are cooked, golden with caramelised edges, remove from the oven. Warm the lentils for a couple of minutes and find the whole garlic cloves, squeeze their soft creamy pulp into the warm veggies. Spoon in the lentils, mix well and top with the basil leaves.
Place the salad leaves onto plates, pile the warm veg / lentil mix onto the leaves. Crumble the feta on top and drizzle the lemon dressing over the dish. Sprinkle with more basil if wish.
If making the salad in advance, I recommend dressing the roasted veggies and lentils whilst warm so the lemon dressing will better absorb. Leave a 1/3 of the dressing for drizzling over, when serving.