Lentil, sausage and fennel salad with mustard dressing

Plump butterbeans can substitute for the lentils. Add parsley and rocket leaves for extra heat and colour

Serves 4
3 red onions, halved and thickly sliced into wedges 6 thyme sprigs plus 1 tsp picked thyme leaves 6 good-quality sausages 1 1⁄2 tbsp olive oil 200g Puy lentils 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and very finely sliced

For the dressing
1 tsp Dijon mustard 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp good balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp mild-flavoured honey

Step 1) Pre-heat the oven to 190°C, Gas Mark 5. Lay the red onion wedges and thyme sprigs in a single layer in the roasting tin and arrange the sausages on top. Drizzle with oil and roast for about 35 minutes, until the sausages are golden and the onions are soft.

Step 2) Whisk all the dressing ingredients together with 1 tbsp of water and season well. Set aside.

Step 3) To cook the lentils, put in a saucepan and cover with cold water to about 2cm. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. The lentils should be soft, but still hold their shape. Drain any excess water and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in half the dressing and extra salt and pepper (the lentils will need some seasoning).

Step 4) Thickly slice the cooked sausages and combine with the lentils, onions, extra thyme and fennel. Serve with the remaining dressing spooned over.

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