A very simple, very Greek salad. Feta and lentils.

Legal news is a hoot. I’m not being sarcastic, sometimes it’s dry but sometimes it’s wet. Wet like yoghurt. Wet like Greek yoghurt. You see, I was doing some research on a law firm and in the back of my mind I was kind of itching to write a post. Then, suddenly, as though a sign from a (Greek) God, the law and food seemed to combine. There was this lawsuit about yoghurt and basically the crux of it was that in order to be sold in the UK, Greek yoghurt has to be produced in Greece and then shipped over. I got a wave of guilt thinking about all the air miles I’d consumed naively believing that Fage’s Greek Yoghurt was produced in Sheffield or some other industrious place. The ruling came because apparently the majority of the UK deem “Greek yoghurt” to be named as such because of its unique characteristics (texture, taste) and because it is produced by a specific people. I briefly thought of British Rachel and her Organic having done a “Greek yoghurt”, but I was wrong. It isn’t Greek yoghurt at all; it’s Greek STYLE yoghurt. I wondered how to go about producing yoghurt in a Greek style. I thought of Rachel and her yoghurt churning minions straining the curd in a Greek way, maybe smashing plates and drinking ouzo. HeyZeus Christ, what wonderful Greek Style minions. It wasn’t until the next day that I really thought I’d properly outfoxed the law. Greek yoghurt, fine, Fage can have this one… but what about “Greek Feta”. I anticipated turning the packet over and potentially finding some sort of self-validating contradiction. But no such luck. Greek feta’s made in Greece, obviously. So feeling slightly defeated but mainly hungry, I made a salad with Greek feta and stateless lentils, parsley and mint. The balsamic was from Modena.

The thing that makes this salad great is cooking the lentils in chicken stock and then, without draining them, waiting for them to cool. This means you can use the lentil/stock drippings at the bottom of the bowl to add flavour to your salad. It also means it will take a while to cool down, so boil the lentils in advance and then assemble at the last minute. Under no circumstances use the green pre-made tinned lentils. If you have to use pre-made go for Merchant Gourmet puy lentils, but really cooking them from scratch makes a big difference. Oh and if you axe the cheese and rocket and up the herbs with a little bit of finely diced preserved lemon, you have an excellent accompaniment for Middle Eastern spiced lamb or chicken.

Ingredients (serves two)

110g of uncooked puy lentils
75g of feta
1 chicken stock pot or cube
1 bunch of parsley
1/2 bunch of mint
1 handful of rocket
1/4 lemon
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Method

  • Wash the puy lentils and then cover in three times their volume of chicken stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes. If you have too much water at around 15 minutes and the lentils are almost done then whack up the heat. When done, leave to cool (usually about an hour).
  • Chop the parsley and mint.
  • When the lentils have cooled, lift and place in another bowl, reserving the liquid at the bottom.
  • Mix in the chopped herbs, rocket, lemon, balsamic and olive oil. Add 1- 2 tbsp of the lentil liquid dependent on how wet your salad already is.
  • Break the feta into large chunks and mix through the salad. Season with pepper and a little salt if necessary.
Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: How to make Labneh cheese at home | Stop! Food!

  2. Pingback: Prosciutto with artichokes, rosemary and truffle oil | Stop! Food!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: