Puy Lentil salad with Parsnips and Walnuts- a delightful salad

  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 40m

When I first saw parsnips in London, I was really intrigued. They look rather suspiciously like carrots, but off white in colour, so they reminded me of white radish. I’m not too keen on radish, well I eat them, but I don’t exactly jump for joy, like when I see carrots.

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So I bought them and found out that they are actually sweet in taste, not bitter sharp like radish.

Did you know that Parsnips have been cultivated since antiquity and was used a lot in Roman cooking. Can you imagine that it was actually used as a sweetener then?

Parsnips can be eaten raw, but are mostly served cooked- either as chips or in a soup.

This delightful recipe serves as a complete meal and truly brings out the beauty of parsnips.

I served this at my Christmas party and can assure you that it will be the delight of many a party to come.


  • Parnsips- 6
  • Water/ Vegetable stock- 1 litre
  • Puy lentils or Brown whole masoor- 250 gms
  • Veg stock cube- 1 ( if using water)- optional
  • Bay leaf- 3
  • Walnuts, slightly toasted- 50 gm
  • Olive oil- 2 tbsp
  • Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Salt- to taste


For the dressing

Walnut oil, or any odourless oil- 3 tbsp
Red wine vinegar- 1 tbsp
Runny honey- 2 tsp
Dijon mustard-1/2 tsp
Shallot, sliced- 1
Garlic clove, grated- 1
Rocket leaves- 1 large bunch
Parmesan cheese- grated, optional- for serving


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F

Step 2

Peel and halve the parsnips lengthwise. Quarter each oiece and try to remove the hard middle by slant-cutting it. Then cut into even sized batons - 5cm long and 1cm thick

Step 3

Finely chop the shallot and grate the garlic.

Step 4

Bring the water or stock to the boil. If using water, you could add a flavouring cube, that will help season the lentils while they are cooking. Drain the lentils, discard the bay leaf and set aside.

Step 5

Add the puy lentils and bay leaves and simmer gently for 25–30 minutes until the lentils are just tender but still retain some bite. Do not overcook.

Step 6

Toast the walnuts in the oven or on a frying pan until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove the tray from the oven, scoop out the walnuts, and add the parsnips in their place. Drizzle with the olive oil and roast for 35 minutes until golden.

Step 7

In a small bowl or salad shaker, whisk together the walnut oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, pepper and grated garlic.

Step 8

Whisk well and pour over salad.

Step 9

In a bowl, toss together the lentils, walnuts, parsnips and dressing.

Step 10

To serve, place the salad leaves, pile on the lentil salad and garnish with grated cheese.


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