In many countries, it is a tradition to serve legumes (ie. lentiles or pulses) on New Year’s Day. Legumes are symbolic of monetary good fortune because their small round shape resembles coins which swell when cooked.
This crunchy lentil salad earns the name ‘Firecracker’ because it uses lots of spicy ingredients. You can adjust the spiciness by using more or less chillies, but I think 2 red chillies allows the salad to bite you back just hard enough. You can always douse it down with some plain yogurt if you can’t take the heat.
FIRECRACKER PUY LENTIL FIRECRACKER SALAD
(Serves 4-6 as a side dish)
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (optional)
1 plump garlic, peeled and grated
1 generous pinch of sea salt
250g dried Puy lentils (or 500g cooked Puy lentils)
1 dried bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
8 radishes, finely diced
2 spicy fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
2 scallions/spring onions, finely sliced (white and green parts)
3 Tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
- Puy Lentils: Bring a pot of water to the boil (I find that boiling the water in the kettle first and then pouring it into a pot saves time). Rinse the Puy lentils in cool water and then add them to the pot of boiling water. Add the dried bay leaf and 1 tsp salt. Allow to boil for 15-20 minutes. Drain and allow the lentils to cool quickly by spreading them on a flat plate.
- Dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients at the bottom of the salad bowl you will be tossing your salad in (this salad will not get wilted by sitting in the dressing).
- Chop the red bell pepper, radishes, deseeded red chillies, scallions/spring onions, and coriander leaves. You want everything chopped finely so that each mouthful has a little bit of everything.
- In your salad bowl, add all the chopped vegetables on top of the dressing and mix well. Once the Puy lentils are room temperature, add them to the rest of the salad. Combine well and refrigerate until ready to serve.