Tiny green Puy lentils have a slightly nutty texture and flavour, and are perfect in salads as they keep their shape well once cooked. Here they are mixed with grilled venison sausages and Mediterranean vegetables, plus a handful of fresh rocket leaves. All you need to accompany the dish is some crusty French bread.
For a quick version of this salad, replace the dried lentils with 2 cans lentils, about 300 g each, drained and rinsed. Slice the sausages and chop all the vegetables, including the peppers and courgettes. Stir-fry them all together for 10 minutes or until the sausages are cooked. Add the lentils with the other ingredients in step 4. * To make a chickpea, rice and chorizo salad, cook 300 g (10½ oz) Camargue red rice for 30–35 minutes or until tender; drain and cool. Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan, and stir-fry 2 chopped red peppers, 2 sliced red onions and 140 g (5 oz) thinly sliced chorizo for 4–5 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften. Add to the rice, with 1 can chickpeas, about 400 g, drained and rinsed, 300 g (10½ oz) halved cherry tomatoes, 25 g (scant 1 oz) shredded fresh basil leaves, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and seasoning to taste.
Venison is very low in fat compared to other red meat, and provides excellent amounts of iron and B vitamins. * Puy lentils are an excellent source of fibre, particularly the soluble variety. They also provide useful amounts of many B vitamins, particularly B1 and B6, and of iron.
A, B1, B6, C, E, folate, niacin, copper, iron, selenium * potassium, zinc * B2