Asparagus, spinach & lentil salad with hazelnuts & Wootton white recipe image

Print Asparagus, spinach & lentil salad with hazelnuts & Wootton white

This is a simple and nourishing dish, making a veg hero of asparagus, a favourite spring vegetable. The salad is topped with one of our favourite cheeses, Wootton white, a British sheep’s cheese that’s made in the same way as feta, for a tangy flourish.

Ingredients

  • 400g salad potatoes
  • 250g asparagus
  • Oil for frying & roasting e.g. light olive
  • 1 tin dark green speckled lentils
  • 30g parsley
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard – add to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 75g Wootton white cheese
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 210˚C/Gas Mark 5. Wash and chop the potatoes into half’s or quarter’s, so they’re roughly evenly sized. Transfer to a pan of water. Add a pinch or two of salt. Bring the pan up to the boil. Cook until tender, 12-15 minutes, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus. Wash then bend them until they snap, discarding the snapped off bases. Toss the asparagus spears in a baking dish in just enough oil to coat, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  3. Drain and rinse the tin of lentils in a sieve. They can clump together and look a bit gloopy in the tin, but are fine once rinsed. Wash, shake dry and chop the parsley leaves. Wash the spinach and juice the lemon.
  4. Peel and finely chop or crush 1 garlic clove. Roughly chop the toasted hazelnuts, into half’s or quarter’s, not too small. In a small bowl, mix just 1 teaspoon of the mustard with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to start with.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and keep them to one side. Put the asparagus in the oven at this point to roast. Depending on the size of the spears, they’ll take from 5-6 minutes for the smaller ones, up to 10-12 minutes for the fatter ones. You want a little bite to them. The best way to test the asparagus is by inserting the sharp point of a knife into one spear. It should just go through without being too mushy and soft. Once done, remove from the oven.
  6. Heat the spinach in a large frying pan with just a splash of oil if any (the residual water on the leaves after they’re washed should be enough to help them along). Keep stirring, until the leaves have wilted down.
  7. Add the garlic, lentils and potatoes. Heat gently, until the potatoes and lentils have warmed through. Stir in the mustard dressing and the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding a little more oil, lemon juice or mustard to suit your taste.
  8. Serve the potato mixture with the asparagus, hazelnuts, sprinkled with crumbled Wootton white cheese.

Cooks notes

The timing for your asparagus will vary depending on its thickness. Test at intervals by inserting the point of a sharp knife. You want it to be just tender. If you have a small appetite, leave a few of the potatoes and/or some lentils out.
want to cook with fresh ingredients? try one of our award winning veg boxes