(serves 4)

This recipe appeared in The Dominion Post Wine Guide Christmas 2006 as part of a chicken salad recipe. Use green Puy lentils from France or you may find very good green organic lentils imported from Canada at organic or health food shops. Aniseed is an herb and provides an anise flavour to the dish. You may have trouble finding this dried herb so substitute chopped fresh tarragon leaves to the lentils with the chives and parsley.


15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
90g (1/2 small) onion (finely diced)
1 small clove garlic (crushed)
80g (1 medium) carrot (diced)
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried aniseed (crushed)
140g Puy lentils
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt

500ml (2 cups) cold water
30ml (2 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar 10ml
(2 tsp) lemon juice
flaky sea salt to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
2 tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley leaves


  • Into a heavy-based frypan pour oil and heat to medium hot.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add onion and cook for 2 minutes or till onion is beginning to soften. Add garlic, carrot, thyme, bay leaf and aniseed. Cook for 5-6 minutes or till onion is soft.
  • Place Puy lentils and first measure of salt into a medium size pot, pour in water and add vegetables and herbs from pan.
  • Place over a medium heat and cook for 20-25 minutes till lentils are soft to the bite but not mushy, and most of the water has been absorbed. Drain off excess water.
  • Remove from heat and remove thyme and bay leaf.
  • Add extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Stir to combine, taste for seasoning, add chives and parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.