Last week to mark the start of the Euros I posted some healthy alternatives to typical match day foods and they went down a hit in both my house and thankfully some of yours too (thanks for the feedback). So this week, I'm concentrating on some salad dishes that can be served either as meals in themselves or as part of a larger meals such as a barbecue. This grilled courgette and artichoke lentil salad is one of my all time favourite salads and to cook it properly you either need a barbecue or a griddle pan. BTW, griddle pans are well worth the investment.
This salad combines peppery rocket as our leafy green, grilled courgette and artichoke, lentils for protein, hemp seeds for some extra protein as well as healthy fats and lime, chilli and coriander to make this salad zing.
2 courgettes, ends trimmed, cut into long thin strips
200g artichokes hearts in olive oil, drained
½ cup green lentils, rinsed
1 cup vegetables stock
2 large handfuls rocket leaves, washed and dried
Zest of a lime
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
For the dressing:
1 tbsp milled hemp seeds
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp water
½ red chilli
Zest of a lime
Juice of 2 limes
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ red chilli, finely chopped
Handful of coriander, chopped
Put the lentils and vegetable stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until the water has evaporated and the lentils are tender. Once cooked, drain fully and set to one side.
Toss the courgettes in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil, lime zest and sea salt. Heat a griddle pan until very hot. Grill the courgettes in batches, about five minutes per side. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Drain on kitchen paper as you finish cooking each batch and set to one side.
Next, grill the artichokes on the griddle pan, about five minutes each side. Drain on kitchen paper and set to one side.
Prepare the dressing by putting all the ingredients in a mini food processor or blender. Blend well. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, chop the red chilli very finely and add it and the other ingredients to a bowl and whisk well.
Add half the dressing to the lentils and stir well to ensure the lentils are coated with the dressing.
Assemble the salad by placing the rocket leaves in the base of your serving dish. Spoon the lentils over the rocket leaves. Place the grilled courgette and artichoke on top. Top the salad with a sprinkling of chopped red chilli and coriander leaves. Serve the remaining dressing in a bowl on the side.