This is such a hearty salad that it is really like a main dish, and it is a delectable combination of flavours. If you are not a lentils fan, don’t be put off – the lentils lend themselves well to the zing and tang of the other ingredients.
Preserved lemons, with their intense citrus tang, are traditionally used in Moroccan food. They are used to flavour a surprising variety of savoury dishes, such as couscous, tagines, risotto, stuffing, casseroles, and even vinaigrettes. Only the rind of the lemon is used in cooking. Discard the flesh and bitter pith and finely slice or chop the rind before adding to your dish.
If you do not have preserved lemon, zest the rind of a lemon as a substitute, but it is really worth making your own. Preserved lemons can be stored for up to six months in a cool, dark place.
1 1/2 cups brown lentils (sometimes called ‘green/brown lentils’)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4 tablespoon preserved lemon
1/4 cup salad oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 red or green capsicum, finely chopped-optional
Salt to taste