Spiced Lamb, Apricot and Aubergine Lentil Salad

By Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This salad is perfect for this kind of summer weather. It is wholesome, nutritious and full of flavour. It was inspired by middle-eastern cooking, with the cumin, cinnamon and paprika flavouring the salad beautifully and working deliciously well alongside the aubergine, apricots and lentils. It is really nice eaten warm, but even better served the next day when the flavours have had time to intensify. 

You will need:

500g minced lamb
6 dried apricots, diced
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
generous pinch chilli flakes
2 medium aubergines, sliced
250g dried lentils
100g red wine vinegar
100 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp dijon mustard 
Large handful of spinach and rocket leaves

 Begin by soaking the lentils in cold water for 30 minutes. Rinse and place in a pan with fresh water. Add a large pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cook according to package instructions. Once cooked, rinse and place in a large mixing bowl. 

Meanwhile, preheat your grill and laying the aubergine slices onto a foil lined baking tray. Brush the tops with olive oil and place under the grill for 10 minutes. Once golden, flip the aubergines and brush the other side with olive oil. Grill again for 10 minutes until golden. Quarter and leave to one side. 

In a large bowl, mix all of the spices, apricots and plenty of salt and pepper into the lamb. Add a tablespoon of oil to a hot frying pan and add the lamb. Use your spoon to break up the lamb into small pieces. Taste for seasoning and once golden and crisp take off the heat and leave to one side. 

Finally, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon, mustard, garlic and seasoning. Add the aubergine and lamb to the lentils then cover with the dressing. Make sure everything is well coated. Toss in the salad leaves and serve with natural yoghurt. Enjoy!  

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