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Watercress and Puy lentil salad with a Sicilian dressing

This is a great salad to serve as a main dish for a light lunch. I love the mellowness of the orange citrus dressing with the salty  feta.

Watercress is a highly nutritious plant packed with essential vitamins and minerals, with a higher amount of nutrients than many vegetables, it also has high levels of antioxidants which can increase the ability of cells to resist damage to their DNA, helping to protect against the cell changes that can lead to cancer.

The nutrients present in watercress and the health benefits of watercress has been known for decades, with the ‘working classes’ in the early 19th century eating bunches of watercress in the mornings known as ‘Poor Mans Bread’ . Hippocrates the father of medicine built his first hospital close to a stream to ensure a fresh supply of watercress was present for his patients.

The nutritional value of watercress shows that if eaten as part of a daily healthy diet will supply high levels of Calcium (more than an average glass of milk), Vitamin A, E, K, C and Iron. And whats more it is delicious!

 

Watercress and Puy lentil salad with a Sicilian dressing

Serves 6

250g Puy lentils

1 tsp salt

100g watercress – small or micro watercress if possible

50g shredded mint leaves

75g feta cheese cubed

Dressing

zest and juice of one orange

juice one lemon

1 tbs maple syrup

1 clove of chopped garlic

80 ml olive oil

1 tsp salt

Rinse the lentils in cold water and drain.

Place the lentils in a pan and cover with twice the volume of water. Add the salt and bring to the boil, simmer for 10/15 mins until just tender. Drain.

For the dressing put the juices and zest in a small pan and bring to the boil. Reduce by half. Remove from the heat.

Add the maple syrup, oil ,chopped garlic and salt to the reduce juices and blend with a hand blender.

Taste and them combine with the warm lentils.

Stir in the chopped mint. Cover with the feta and watercress and serve.

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Through The Natural Pantry I hope to share with you some of the delicious recipes discovered whilst cooking in my kitchen with produce grown in our garden and the very best natural ingredients.