salad / vegetarian

Warm beluga lentil vinaigrette served on a bed of lettuce

I posted this recipe at a time when we had EHEC in Germany.

***From 2011

Germany has been trembling in its Birkenstock sandals this week due to the outbreak of EHEC, a particularly nasty e-coli virus. The supermarkets and greengrocers in my neighbourhood have tried to lower the price of cucumbers drastically, but since tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce were first named as the culprits, oh, then it was the salad vegetables supplied by Spain, no, it was definitely a restaurant in Lübeck, no, wrong again, it was the sprouts delivered by a company in Germany. We’re rapidly approaching a death toll of twenty people and the most unnerving peace of news was that slim, health-conscious women are particularly at risk.

After a week devoid of all things tomato I finally decided to get some beautiful cherry tomatoes from the local greengrocer. I flirted with the idea of getting some honey tomatoes but since they cost 17,99 Euros a kilo (!?), I went for the 1,99 Euro box of cherry tomatoes from the Netherlands. Tomatoes from the Netherlands usually have quite a bad reputation in Germany and are described as watery, pale and generally flavourless. The tomatoes we ate during our picnic yesterday were lovely, so lovely in fact that I decided to make another salad today with the second package.

The recipe comes off the back of a package of beluga lentils which we have never tried before. They retain their shape well during cooking and don’t get all soggy like brown lentils which I will eat in winter or late autumn but otherwise choose to ignore.

I reckon the recipe is for two small portions, so I doubled it and shared it with my husband. I didn’t use lettuce because I didn’t have it, so I halved the dressing ingredients (3 tbsp olive oil, etc:). In fact, while typing up the recipe I realised that I had not followed the recipe at all. I cooked the lentils, poured cold water over them, drained them and then mixed them with the dressing, onion and tomatoes. If I’d have had capers, I would have added a few, too.

Anyway, I’ll try the recipe tomorrow again and follow the instructions:)


50g beluga lentils

6 tbsp olive oil

1 chopped onion (red would look good in this)

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

5 tbsp water

salt, pepper

1 tsp honey

1 tomato, diced (I used a handful of halved cherry tomatoes)

1 head of iceberg salad


Rinse the lentils, drain and bring to the boil with four-times the amount of water (don’t salt – but you already know this). Cook for 20 minutes. Pour cold water over the lentils and allow to drain well.

Heat the oil and fry the onion. Add vinegar and water to frying pan, season with salt and pepper and honey. Add the diced tomatoes. Serve warm over the lettuce and serve immediately.

I added some chopped parsley to the lentil mixture, because our Turkish greengrocer only sells giant bushels of parsley and so I end up putting parsley in everything.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take a photo because the salad was eaten too quickly.

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