Summer and salad go hand-in-hand and this offering from Heather Whinney’s Virtually Vegan is a fresh, sweet, figgy take on a summertime staple. Complete with a harissa and mint dressing for an unmatched kick!

Taken from Virtually Vegan by Heather Whinney

Serves 4–6
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins

Ingredients
400g/14oz/2 cups dried Puy lentils, rinsed well
a pinch of allspice
2 garlic cloves, grated
about 10 fresh figs
a drizzle of olive oil
200g/7oz coconut pieces
2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely sliced
3 spring onions/scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
1 large handful of land cress or baby spinach leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1–2 tsp harissa, plus extra for drizzling
1 handful of mint leaves, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish

Method
1 Put the lentils in a pan of salted water and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer with the lid partially on for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and leave to one side.
2 While they are cooking, make the dressing. Put the oil and vinegar in a small bowl or jug, whisk and season with salt and pepper, then stir in the harissa and mint. Pour it over the lentils while they are still warm so they soak up the flavours. Add the allspice and garlic and stir well so all the lentils are coated. Taste and season some more if needed.
3 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
4 Put the figs in a roasting pan and drizzle over the oil, add the coconut to the pan and roast for about 10–15 minutes until the juices start to just run from the figs and the coconut begins to turn golden. When cool enough to handle, slice the coconut pieces into shards and roughly chop the figs or quarter them. Leave to one side.
5 When the lentils are cool, stir in the celery, spring onions/ scallions and cress or spinach leaves, then add the figs and half the coconut and stir gently. Transfer to a serving bowl, scatter over the remaining coconut shards and mint leaves and drizzle with a little extra harissa oil from the jar to serve.

For non-vegans…
The Moroccan flavours of this salad work well with lamb kebabs, particularly for a barbecue. Alternatively, crumbled feta would make a tasty topping.

Don’t forget to tag us – @nourishbooks – in your recreations! Happy cooking!

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