Lentil and Watercress Salad

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Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour

Has the ‘freshman 15’ happened to you too? Want to procrastinate through cooking? Taken from my food hero Hugh- this salad offers your body a veg boost!


  • 5 medium parsnips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 125g puy lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ onion
  • A few parsley stalks (optional)
  • A large bunch/2 cups of watercress, tough stalks removed
  • Salt & pepper
  • [For the dressing]
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed with a little coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard
  • 2 teaspoons clear honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • [To serve (optional)]
  • Parmesan or a well-matured hard cheese



Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Peel the parsnips and halve them lengthways. Cut the wider top parts in half again; the aim is to get chunky pieces roughly all the same size. Put the parsnips into a roasting tin, scatter with some salt and pepper and toss with the oil.


Roast for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until tender and starting to caramelise. Meanwhile, put the lentils in a pan, add plenty of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for a minute only, then drain.


Return the lentils to the pan and pour on just enough water to cover them. Add the bay leaf, onion and parsley stalks, if using. Bring back to a very low simmer and cook slowly for about half an hour, until tender but not mushy. For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together thoroughly with some salt and pepper. Drain the lentils and pick out the bay leaf, parsley stalks and onion. While still hot, toss the lentils with the dressing. Taste and make sure they are well seasoned.


Scatter the warm lentils, roasted parsnip chunks and watercress sprigs on serving plates and finish with a few cheese shavings, if you like.


  • 359 Calories
  • 42.7g Carbohydrates
  • 18.8g Fat
  • 10.35g Fiber
  • 9.38g Protein
  • 1.6g Saturated fat
  • 995mg Sodium
  • 11.5g Sugar
  • 3.6g Unsaturated fat

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