Puy lentils are my go-to base for a range of salads. This one’s topped with tender chicken, juicy slices of apple and crunchy hazelnuts with a tangy mustard dressing.
4 single chicken breasts, skin on
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
oil and butter, for cooking
1 cup puy lentils, cooked
2 cos lettuces, cut into wedges through the stem
1–2 braeburn apples, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
400 grams assorted greens – choose one or a selection of green beans, snow peas and sugar snaps, blanched
⅓ cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
sea salt and ground pepper
Dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and season.
Salad: Season the chicken on both sides and sprinkle with caraway seeds.
Heat a little oil and butter in a sauté pan and cook the chicken until fully cooked through. Set aside.
Toss the lentils with 2 tablespoons of the dressing and season generously with salt and pepper.
To serve: Divide the lentils between plates. Top with the lettuce wedges, apple, the green vegetables and sliced chicken.
Drizzle the dressing over the top, then scatter with hazelnuts and a grind of pepper.
Pantry note: Puy lentils are a small dark green lentil with a slight peppery flavour and hold their shape during cooking. They are the only lentil to be identified by area of cultivation – grown in the Le Puy region of France. To cook, cover with plenty of cold water, bring to the boil and cook until just tender but still with a little bite. Drain and rinse under cold water then drain well.