This is a quick and easy, but oh so tasty salad to prepare which will serve 4 as a side dish or two as a light meal. If you can’t get hold of Persian lentils, you can use Puy lentils which work just as well and Greek feta is a good substitute for Persian feta. I sometimes prefer the Greek feta as it provides a greater contrast to the creaminess and softness of the egg, The colours here are just so Mediterranean and it is a salad which I often turn to during the warmer months. You can also add a little dried chilli if you like to give it a little extra flavour punch.
Lentil and asparagus salad with egg and sumac
250g Persian red lentils
1/2 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons sumac, plus extra to serve
3/4 cup each flat-leaf parsley and mint
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
4 eggs, at room temperature
50g almonds, coarsely chopped
150g Persian feta, coarsely crumbled
Cook lentils in a saucepan of unsalted boiling water until just tender (10-12 minutes), drain, refresh, drain well and place in a large bowl. Combine onion, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl and stand until onion softens (5 minutes). Stir in oil, vinegar and sumac, add to lentils with herbs, and toss to combine.
Blanch asparagus until just tender (1-2 minutes), refresh, drain and set aside. Cook eggs in a saucepan of boiling water until soft-boiled (7 minutes), cool under cold running water, then peel and halve. Top lentil salad with asparagus and eggs, season to taste and serve scattered with almonds, feta and sumac.