Large flakes of peppered smoked mackerel, sprigs of watercress and thick slices of juicy, sweet pear make an exciting combination, and they work well with earthy, nutty-textured Puy lentils in a lime and honey dressing. Serve with Melba toast or wholemeal bread for a starter that will set tastebuds tingling.
To make a smoked trout and green lentil salad with raspberry vinaigrette, replace the Puy lentils with green lentils, cooking them for 20–30 minutes. In the dressing, replace the lime zest and juice with 2 tbsp raspberry vinegar. Instead of smoked mackerel, fold in large flakes of smoked trout. Spoon the lentil mixture onto a bed of 85 g (3 oz) watercress tossed with 45 g (1½ oz) torn Lollo Rosso leaves and garnish with 55 g (2 oz) raspberries.
Although lentils contain iron, the absorption of this mineral from them is normally poor. Adding ingredients rich in vitamin C, such as limes and watercress, can improve the absorption of iron considerably. * Oily fish such as mackerel (both fresh and smoked) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that is believed to help to prevent heart disease and strokes by making the blood less sticky and therefore less likely to clot. Omega-3 fats may also be helpful in preventing and treating arthritis. * Dark green, leafy vegetables such as watercress provide many vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene, vitamin C and folate. Watercress is also a good source of calcium.
B12, selenium * C, copper * A, B1, B6, niacin, iron, potassium, zinc