NB. Recipe stolen from Delia Smith...
For the salad:
225g Puy lentils
40 g walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 heaped teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
salt and freshly milled black pepper
200g feta cheese
For the dressing:1 fat clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 rounded teaspoon powdered mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons walnut oil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly milled black pepper
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and lightly fry the chopped walnuts for about 1 minute. Then remove them with a spoon to a plate and keep them to one side.
Now to the oil left in the pan, add the onion and crushed garlic and let these cook and soften for about 5 minutes. After that, stir in the lentils, bay leaf and thyme and make sure they all get a good coating with oil. Next add enough boiling water to just cover the lentils, but no salt yet - put a lid on, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and let the lentils cook for 30-40 minutes or until they're tender and all the liquid has been absorbed. You really need to bite one to test if they're done. If the water absorbs too quickly at the beginning add a little more to keep the lentils covered.
While the lentils are cooking you can prepare the dressing. Use a pestle and mortar and crush the garlic with the salt until it's creamy, then add the mustard and work that into the garlic paste. After that, whisk in the balsamic vinegar, followed by the oils. Then season well with freshly milled black pepper.
As soon as the lentils are cooked, add salt to taste. Empty them into a warm serving bowl and while they're still hot, pour the dressing over. Give everything a good toss and stir, then crumble the feta cheese all over. Give everything one more toss and stir, and serve straight away with the walnuts scattered over, on a bed of rocket.