"Lentils are great to give a bit of grunt to a salad," says Matt Moran, "I love the small French-style green lentils as they hold their shape and don’t turn to mush. This salad can be added to easily. Try shredded poached chicken or crisp pancetta or simply serve alongside roast pork or chicken for a perfect autumnal side dish."
220 g (7¾ oz/1 cup) French-style green lentils
1 fresh bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
50 g (1¾ oz/½ cup) walnuts
1 red apple, unpeeled, cut into matchsticks and tossed with a squeeze of lemon
1 French shallot, thinly sliced
1 large handful torn flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves
Wholegrain mustard dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
Combine the lentils, bay leaf and thyme sprig in a large saucepan, cover with cold unsalted water by 4–5 cm (1½–2 inches) and bring to the boil over a high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium–high and cook for 10–12 minutes until just tender. Drain, then discard the herbs, and transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Spread the walnuts on a baking tray and roast for 4–5 minutes until golden brown. Cool, then coarsely chop.
To make the mustard dressing, whisk the ingredients in a bowl to combine, thinning to drizzling consistency with a little hot water if necessary, and season to taste.
Trim the tops off the celeriac, peel, cut into matchsticks and add to the lentils along with the apple, shallot, parsley leaves and walnuts. Drizzle over the mustard dressing to taste, toss to combine and serve.
Images and recipe from Matt Moran's Australian Food by Matt Moran (Murdoch Books, RRP $45.00)
Photography by Will Meppem