Lentil, goat’s cheese and hazelnut salad


  • Serves 4 - 6 people

This earthy salad makes a great light meal as is, but it's very versatile - add roast baby beetroot or replace the goat's cheese with shredded confit duck. It would also be beautiful topped with a soft-poached egg, or served with a dollop of pistou for a burst of spring flavour.

  • 2 baby fennel bulbs, fronds reserved
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 each carrot and celery stalk, diced
  • ½ Spanish onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 200 gm small green lentils
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 3 thyme sprigs, plus 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1½ tbsp hazelnut oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ radicchio, coarsely torn
  • ¾ cup coarsely torn flat-leaf parsley
  • 50 gm roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 100 gm soft goat’s cheese, coarsely broken
01   Dice 1 fennel bulb. Heat 40ml olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add diced fennel, carrot, celery, onion and garlic, and stir occasionally until softened but not coloured (5-6 minutes). Add lentils, stock, thyme sprigs and bay leaves, and 150ml water, bring to the simmer and cook until lentils are tender, and liquid has almost completely evaporated (15-20 minutes). Drain off any remaining liquid, season to taste and set aside to cool (discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves).
02   Combine hazelnut oil, vinegar, lemon juice and remaining olive oil in a screw-top jar and shake to emulsify. Season to taste.
03   Thinly shave remaining fennel bulb on a mandolin and combine in a bowl with lentils, radicchio, parsley, hazelnuts, thyme leaves and reserved fronds. Add vinaigrette, season to taste and toss to dress well. Scatter goat’s cheese on top and serve.
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