Meera Sodha’s Vegan Recipe for Potato and Lentil Salad with Pistachio Chimichurri | Picnics

MGrandpa was always the main instigator of family picnics, and the kind of picnics he liked were very elaborate. They took a whole morning to prep, only to drive us to a parking lot and walk a few yards before rolling out the Tupperware parade. There were always potatoes, lentils, herbs and greens, and while today’s recipe wasn’t what we ate back then, it’s a blend of his dishes. favourites. I wrote it especially for eating outside, whether in the garden, on a park bench or in a parking lot.

Potato and lentil salad with pistachio chimichurri

You will need a blender to make the chimichurri. If you can’t find jalapeños, use a green finger or arugula pepper instead (or leave them out altogether, if you prefer).

Preparation 15 minutes
To cook 1 hour
Serves 4

500 g of cooked puy lentils (or 230g of dry puy lentils)
600g new potatoeswashed and cut in half
2 large fennel bulbs (600g), trimmed and cut into 2cm wedges
2 red onionspeeled and cut into 2cm wedges
2 lemons1 quartered, 1 pressed
8 garlic clovespeeled and minced
Extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp fine sea salt
50g flat-leaf parsley, picked
chopped
2 green jalapeno peppersstems removed, flesh chopped
40g shelled unsalted pistachios

Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/Gas 7. If cooking the lentils from scratch, rinse them well, pour them into a small saucepan that you have a lid on and add enough water cold to cover 2 cm. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, put the lid on and simmer for 12 minutes, until the lentils are cooked but retain a little bite. Drain and cool in a colander so they don’t continue to cook.

Place the potatoes, fennel, onion, lemon wedges and six of the minced garlic cloves in a large roasting tin, pour in 75ml of oil and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. Toss to coat well, then roast for 50 minutes, until all the vegetables look bronzed, the potatoes are crisp and the fennel is starting to crisp around the edges. Add the lentils, mix everything together, then return to the oven for five minutes, to warm the lentils well.

While the vegetables are roasting, whisk together the parsley, the remaining two minced garlic cloves, the chillies, the pistachios, two tablespoons of lemon juice, half a teaspoon of salt and 75 ml (or another five tablespoons tablespoons) of oil to create a thick sauce, then leave to marinate.

To serve, stir most of the chimichurri dressing into the hot vegetables and toss to coat well. Unmold onto a platter or individual plates and garnish with a little more chimichurri.

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