Spice Up Your Christmas pt. 3

Curried Parsnip and Lentil Salad with Mustard Dressing

Serves 4 as a side

Amidst all the chocolate and wine, I find myself craving fresh healthy food over Christmas. I often make warm, filling salads for my family which sit next to plates of cold cuts, bread and cheese (they’re definitely still carnivores!). Most often, it’s these salads which are the most popular dish on the table.

I came up with this recipe when we had a surplus of leftover parsnips. Puy lentils are a store cupboard staple in my house and can be added to almost any vegetable to make a filling winter salad. You’ll find that you have almost all the ingredients for this dish lying around the house over Christmas. If you don’t have the dried cranberries or seeds, any dried fruit/raisin and nut will work. You can even spoon dots of leftover cranberry chutney over the parsnips - the speckles of sweetness are essential.

For the salad

200g Puy Lentils

400 ml vegetable stock

3-4 large parsnips, peeled and cut into batons

1 tbsp oil

3 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp coriander powder

Large pinch dried chilli flakes

Large pinch sea salt

100g baby leaf spinach (or a large handful)

2 tbsp seed mix eg. (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)

1 tbsp dried cranberries

Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

For the dressing

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Juice of ½ lemon

½ tbsp dijon mustard

1 tsp honey/maple syrup

Pinch of salt and pepper

  • Heat the oven to 200 degrees.

  • Put the lentils into a saucepan and add the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until stock has been absorbed by the lentils. You want your lentils to be al dente.

  • Place your parsnip batons in a bowl and add the oil, spices, chilli and salt. Give it all a good shake/stir until the parsnips are well coated.

  • Lay the parsnips on a baking tray (or 2) and roast for 20-30 minutes until they are soft and crispy in places.

  • Whilst the parsnips and lentils are cooking make your salad dressing by placing everything in a jar and shaking well.

  • Season the cooked lentils with a pinch of salt and stir through ½ the dressing. Place in a shallow bowl and top with the spinach.

  • Lay the parsnips on top and sprinkle with the seeds and cranberries.

  • Finish with a sprinkling of coriander and a squeeze of lemon.