Pepper & lentil salad


  1. Char and peel the peppers. While they’re cooking, heat the oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the onion, carrot and celery and fry on a low heat for 15 mins, stirring now and then. If they look as if they might catch at any point, add a splash of water.
  3. Once softened, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 mins. Add the lentils, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, mint and 300ml (101/2floz) water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20–25 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Keep an eye on the liquid towards the end and top up with a little extra water as needed. Almost all the liquid should have been absorbed by the end of cooking.
  4. Once done, remove from the heat if the peppers aren’t quite ready. Roughly chop the peppers into strips and stir them into the lentils with the vinegar and olives. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste.
  5. Set aside while you fry the halloumi.
  6. Heat a dry non-stick frying pan, add the halloumi slices and fry for about 2 mins on each side, until golden. Gently warm the lentils if needed, then stir in the watercress and extra virgin olive oil and serve with the halloumi slices on top, scattered with the fresh herbs.

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Instead of halloumi, crumble over some feta or goat's cheese


4 red peppers
2 tbsp sunflower or light olive oil
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, grated or crushed
100g Puy-style lentils, rinsed in a sieve under cold water
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp dried mint
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
100g pitted black olives
1 pack (150–200g) halloumi, cut into 1–2cm-thick slices
small glug of extra virgin
olive oil
50g watercress
small handful of chopped fresh mint and/or parsley, to garnish
salt and pepper


Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2
Nutrition: n/a