This salad is really all about different textures. The firm, aromatic rice sits alongside earthy lentils, which are stained black, giving a striking background for the juicy, fleshy oranges. The mixture of nuts is not essential, but the quantity is, as they provide an array of rich flavours, as well as crunch, which are delicious with the harissa’s vibrant chilli heat.
150g puy lentils
150g Black Venus Rice
1/2 vegetable stock cube
25g each of cashew nuts, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts (you can substitute one for another if preferred)
6 tsp Green Verbena Harissa
4 tbsp Early Harvest olive oil
4 spring onions
2 tsp Moscatel vinegar
3 sprigs each of mint and parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Heat an oven to 160C. Rinse the lentils with cold water to remove any light sediment. Place in a pan with the black rice, stock cube and 400ml water. Bring up to the boil then turn down to a simmer, cover with a lid or paper and cook for 20 minutes. Check to see if they are cooked enough. They should have a little bite, but if it is still tough, add another splash of water and cook for longer. When ready, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Place the nuts on a baking tray, and roast for 10 minutes, or until light brown in colour. Remove and allow to cool, before roughly chopping.
Cut or peel the skin from 2 of the oranges, remove any pith, then slice into rounds, 1 cm thick. Set aside. To make the dressing, juice the remaining orange into a bowl, mix with the harissa, olive oil, spring onions, vinegar and a little salt and pepper. Stir to combine then taste and add more salt if necessary.
When ready to serve, add the dressing to the rice and lentils and stir through to coat. Divide between plates, then add the oranges and then scatter the nuts over the top, followed lastly by the mint and parsley