We’ve always had a lentil salad on the lunch menu in Sydney. I’ve been a longtime fan of lentils even before pulses claimed their rightful place high in the superfood pecking order. But it was a cold, dark London autumn when we opened in Notting Hill that lentils proved just how comforting they could be. Far from the Aussie sunshine, we were all in need of a food-induced warm-up. Braising the lentils and serving them warm with a spoonful of creamy, melting burrata was just the thing. It wasn’t the sharp, sea-salty feta we use in Sydney, but when you work with the local ingredients available, you often discover a pleasant surprise. And this warm lentil salad, my friends, is definitely a pleasant surprise.
Burrata has grown in popularity over the years, and for good reason. If you love creamy cheeses (who doesn’t?), burrata will blow your mind. It begins as fresh mozzarella and is stuffed with curd and finished off with fresh cream. Salivating? I thought so. After that, all this deliciousness is wrapped up in a ball that’s begging to be broken into. If it isn’t clear yet, there’s a reason so many videos populate the #burrata hashtag on social media. Burrata is soft, luscious, and tastes luxurious atop bruschetta, paired with pasta, and scooped up alongside peaches. There are almost endless ways to enjoy burrata, but my personal favorite, of course, is in this satisfying salad.
This recipe boasts an abundance of textures, tastes, and color. I love the contrast of the slightly crisp croutons set against the baby beetroot and spinach. Stirring a bouquet garni (a bundle of thyme, parsley, and bay leaves) into the lentils and tomato lends a fresh, complex flavor to every bite of this salad. Plus, there’s nothing better than a basil-infused oil to finish things off. Ready to dive in fork-first? A light but decadent meal awaits.
- 300g puy (blue–green) lentils
- 100ml olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 large tomato, finely diced
- 1 bouquet garni (2 thyme sprigs, 5 parsley stalks, 2 bay leaves tied together)
- 750ml hot vegetable stock
- 200g baby spinach
- 50g sourdough bread, diced and shallow-fried in oil until crisp
- 300g burrata
- Baby beetroot shoots or shiso cress
- 1 large handful basil
- Rinse the lentils under running water. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add the onion, garlic and celery and cook gently until translucent.
- Add the tomato and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the lentils and bouquet garni, stir well and then add the stock and reduce the heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and the stock has been absorbed.
- Stir the spinach into the lentils until just wilted and check the seasoning. Transfer to a bowl, scatter with the sourdough croutons and torn burrata and garnish with beetroot shoots.
- Mix the basil with the remaining olive oil in a blender, season to taste and drizzle over the salad.
Share this Post