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Sunday, 8 May 2011

Lentil and Sausage Salad

This is a fantastic salad for those cooking on a budget, or those like me who tend to live mainly on pasta.  It is protein filled and not at all heavy.  Here is a tip: next time you barbeque, cook a few too many sausages and freeze them.  I really do think that most things taste better on the barbeque.  The smoky flavour and lovely charred edges stay on the sausages even after being defrosted, and then you can have pretty much instant lentil and sausage salad throughout the year.

Sorry I don’t have proper quantities, use your judgement about the amounts of lentils and sausages, depending on how much you want to make.  With the following amounts of veggies and things, this made enough for about 12 or so small portions.

Green Lentils
6 or so cooked Sausages, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used spicy beef, worked really well)
1 ½ onions, diced
1 red pepper, diced (fried mushrooms would also work)
olive oil
2 large red tomatoes, chopped up (alternatively you could use sun-dried tomatoes)
Large handful of parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

For the vinaigrette
Olive oil
Cider vinegar (or wine vinegar, nothing too heavy)
1 tsp grain mustard

1.   In a small jar with a lid make the vinaigrette with 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, the mustard and a few drops of cold water.  Shake well to combine.
2.   Cook the lentils in boiling water for 20 minutes or so until they are cooked but not falling apart.  Once they are cooked put them in a bowl and add a couple of spoonfuls of vinaigrette.
3.   While the lentils are cooking, sauté the onions and pepper (or mushrooms) in olive oil over a low heat until sweet and soft.  If you are cooking the sausages fresh, then the veggies will have a great flavour if you fry them in the pan after the sausages.
4.   When the vegetables are cooked, add them to the lentils with the sausages, fresh veggies and parsley.  Mix together and taste for seasoning, and add more dressing if needed to.

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