mThe grandfather was always the main instigator of family picnics, and the kind of picnics he liked was very extensive. They took a whole morning of prep, just for us to drive to a parking lot and walk a few yards before the Tupperware parade rolled out. There were always potatoes, lentils, herbs and vegetables, and while today’s recipe wasn’t what we ate then, it’s a collection of his favorite things. I wrote it especially for eating outside, whether in the garden, on a park bench or in a parking lot.
Potato Lentil Salad with Pistachio Chimichurri
You will need a blender to make the chimichurri. If you can’t find jalapeños, use green finger or arugula instead (or omit them altogether, if you prefer).
Preparation 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour
500 g cooked puy lentils (or 230 g dried puy lentils)
600 grams of new potatoeswashed and halved
2 large fennel bulbs (600g), trimmed and cut into 2cm wedges
2 red onionspeeled and cut into 2cm wedges
2 lemons1 cut into wedges, 1 squeezed
8 cloves of garlicpeeled and finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp fine sea salt
50 g picked flat-leaf parsleyminced meat
2 green jalapeño peppersstems removed, pulp chopped
40 g unsalted peeled pistachios
Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. If you are cooking the lentils from scratch, rinse well, place in a small saucepan with a lid and add enough cold water to cook them 2 cm to cover . Bring to the boil, turn the heat to low, put the lid on the pan and simmer for 12 minutes until the lentils are tender but still have a bit of bite. Drain and let cool in a sieve to prevent them from cooking further.
Place the potatoes, fennel, onion, lemon wedges and six of the chopped garlic cloves in a large roasting tin, pour over 75ml of oil and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. Toss everything together and roast for 50 minutes until all vegetables are browned, potatoes are crisp and the fennel is starting to crisp around the edges. Add the lentils, toss everything together, then return to the oven for five minutes to warm through the lentils.
While the vegetables are roasting, whisk together the parsley, the remaining two cloves of garlic, the chillies, pistachios, two tablespoons of lemon juice, half a teaspoon of salt and 75 ml (or another five tablespoons) of oil to make a thick sauce. then marinate it.
Before serving, stir most of the chimichurri dressing into the hot vegetables and toss to combine. Transfer to a platter or individual plates and garnish with a little more chimichurri.