Lentils are an affordable source of protein and filling. Brown lentils are the ones typically sold in the average Jamaican market. This spicy lentil salad can be served at room temperature or chilled. It is a delicious Meatless Monday lunch or dinner option with a serving of cooling cucumber or juicy tomatoes on the side and crusty bread for a complete meal. Serves 6.
- 250g brown lentils
- 1 tbsp white cane vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp grated Jamaican turmeric (or ¼ tsp ground)
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp Jamaican ground annatto (aka poor man’s saffron)
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp Jamaican honey
- 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small head of broccoli, broken into florets
- 1 small head of cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 small log of plain goats’ cheese, roughly torn
- Handful of roasted walnuts, roughly broken (optional)
- Handful of fresh mixed herbs, leaves only, roughly chopped
- Rinse lentils thoroughly and remove any debris. Add to a medium saucepan and cover with lots of water, bring to a boil then simmer over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Drain, rinse under cold water to cool down and transfer to a bowl.
- Steam the broccoli and cauliflower until just cooked through then rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.
- Prepare vinaigrette by adding vinegar, mustard, spices, honey and oil together, whisk until emulsified.
- Add cauliflower and broccoli to lentils then pour over vinaigrette and mix well. Set aside for an hour for the flavours to meld. Check seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste
When ready to eat add goats’ cheese, walnuts (if using) and herbs, toss together and serve.
Jacqui ‘JuicyChef’ Sinclair, founder of Nyam & Trod, is a British Jamaican award-winning chef, writer, and food culturist. She is a co-founder of Kingston Kitchen, an annual food event supporting food artisans. Jacqui has been an advocate of the Meatless Monday Global movement in Jamaica since 2011. Jacqui’s work has been featured in such publications as the Huffington Post, the Jamaica Observer, Saveur, The Jewish Post and numerous blogs. She has appeared on the Travel Channel’s ‘Bizarre Foods’ with Andrew Zimmern and Food & Wine’s Jamaica episode with Kwame Onwuachi.