Scallop, jerusalem artichoke and lentil salad

Diana Henry's autumn salad makes an impressive dinner party starter
By Diana Henry
Scallop, jerusalem artichoke and lentil salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 small stick celery, very finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, very finely chopped
  • 100 g puy lentils, rinsed
  • 500 ml water
  • 750 g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 200 g bacon lardons
  • 125-150 g baby salad leaves
  • 12 scallops, with their corals

For the vinaigrette

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • caster sugar, to taste

Method

1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion, celery and carrot until soft but not coloured.

2. Add the lentils and turn over in the oil to coat. Pour over the water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are just tender. This could take anything from 20 -35 minutes depending on the age of the lentils so keep an eye on them - they can turn to mush very quickly.

3. For the vinaigrette: whisk together the vinegar, mustard and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl with a fork. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Drain the lentils and stir in 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and the parsley while they are still warm.

5. Cook the artichokes in boiling, salted water, to which you've added a good squeeze of lemon (this stops the artichokes discolouring). Once they're just tender, but still have a little bite, slice them into batons. Set aside until you want to serve the salad.

6. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small pan and fry the artichoke and bacon until coloured and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to cook the artichokes so much that they start to fall apart.

7. Toss the salad leaves, bacon and artichoke with some of the remaining dressing and divide among 4 plates, arranging them in the centre. Spoon the lentils around the outside.

8. Season the scallops. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan until very hot and fry the scallops, searing them on each side so that they are lightly caramelised and just cooked through. This should take about 15-20 seconds on each side, depending on the size.

9. Put the scallops on top of each salad. Drizzle with a little more dressing and serve.

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