Wild Rice and Puy Lentils with Lemon and Asparagus

This dish is bursting with refreshing summer flavours, such as citrus and asparagus, and makes an ideal summer lunch or supper as it can be prepared in advance. Wild rice is not, in fact, a rice at all, but a grass that is particularly rich in protein and minerals. Accompany this dish with a red onion, tomato, avocado and basil salad.




Serves 6

250g (9oz) wild rice

150g (51/2oz) dried Puy lentils

1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder

2 courgettes

8 spring onions, trimmed

200g (7oz) fine asparagus spears

4 tbsp mild or medium (not extra virgin) olive oil

juice of 2 lemons plus zest and juice of 2 more

organic or unwaxed lemons

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

a little sea salt


1 Place the rice and lentils in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water. Soak for 4 hours to soften and reduce the cooking time, then drain, return to the saucepan with the vegetable bouillon and re-cover with 600ml (1pt) of boiling water. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 20
minutes or until cooked and the water has been absorbed.

2 Meanwhile, top and tail the courgettes and slice them very finely using a mandolin. Place in a large bowl with the spring onions and asparagus, and pour the lemon juice and mild or medium olive oil over them, stirring to coat, then leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

3 Preheat a griddle pan until smoking then griddle the courgette strips very quickly in batches, turning to colour on both sides. Add to the cooked rice and lentils. Then griddle the spring onions for around 4–5 minutes, rolling occasionally to colour evenly, then add to the rice and lentils. Next griddle the asparagus – in batches if necessary – for around 5 minutes, rolling occasionally to cook evenly. Pour a few tablespoons of the leftover marinade into the griddle pan to par-steam the asparagus for a minute or two until soft. Add the asparagus to the rice and lentils.

4 Fold the griddled vegetables into the rice and lentils, along with the zest and juice of the remaining two lemons, the extra virgin olive oil, black pepper and salt to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s Notes

Gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free • V • Can be made in advance.

From Delicious, Health Sugar Free by Patrick Holford and Fiona McDonald Joyce. With special thanks to Fiona McDonald Joyce for use of these recipes for Holford Health Club members.

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