Recipe || Beluga lentils, sunblushed tomato and salsa verde salad

Growing up I’ve always been exposed to a variety of pulses. Lentil soup, gotcha! Five bean bake, you bet! However, there’s been a rise in popularity of the pulse varieties on offer, and I for one am pleased as it’s made them more available and quite significantly cheaper. You can buy a huge number of different types of pulse from most supermarkets ranging from beans, peas and lentils, traditionally either in tinned or dried formats, but also more recently in fuss-free, ready to eat packets. 

When approached by the lovely team at Merchant Gourmet and asked if I wanted to try one of their recipes to celebrate the United Nations awareness campaign on the benefit of eating more pulses, I was more than happy to join in.

Did you know pulses count as one of your five-a-day? Yep!

Containing up to double the amount of protein found in wheat and triple the amount found in rice, pulses, which have a naturally low GI, are a rich source of vitamin B and amino acids which play a key role in transporting nutrients around the body.

This is where I pack off 100 pouches of lentils to my newly-vegan brother as a way of giving him a protein boost he’s been lacking…!

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The recipe that really took my fancy was this lentil salad come salsa verde mix up. I LOVE salsa verde, it’s so fresh and flavoursome so I’ll take any excuse to whip up some. Especially as we were planning a BBQ but after a weekend of rich wedding food, I wanted to do a healthy take on your typical burgers and sausages!

I went a bit mad in Sainsburys, buying a huge pot of fresh sunblushed tomatoes in herby chilli oil, a fat pot of marinated anchovies (is it just me that hates the tinned version but LOVES the fresh?!) and some chargrilled artichoke hearts. Gosh I’m such a bloody foodie.

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Seriously though, this beluga lentils recipe is bangin’, takes about 120 seconds to put together, looks bloomin’ impressive and tastes unbelievable. I think every BBQ I ever have from now on will include it.

Move over potato salad.

Be gone, coleslaw.

THIS is where it’s at. Especially when you’re accompanying your lentils salad with a sassy BBQ’d tuna steak, some fresh crusty bread and a hunk of goats cheese (so, the goats cheese was a last minute addition because of the bread, but hey, it actually turned out to be a taste sensation together!

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  • 1 x 250g pouch of Merchant Gourmet Beluga lentils
  • 200g sunblush tomatoes

Salsa verde

  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 bunch tarragon
  • 1 bunch mint
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 marinated anchovy fillets (plus loads of extras to munch on)
  • 30g capers
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil (or use the tasty oil the anchovies and tomatoes came in!)


Firstly make the salsa verde – blitz together the finely chopped garlic, capers and anchovies in a blender or magi mix with half the lemon juice and then add a glug of the oil too.

Throw in all the herbs, minus the big bits of their stems, along with more lemon juice and oil, then whizz it up again, but not too finely.

Add the beluga lentils straight from the pouch to a bowl, mix in the drained sunblush tomatoes then also add as little or as much salsa verde as you like – I saved a bit of it for later too as it goes so well with everything and it keeps in the fridge for a few days.

Bish bash bosh, you’re done!

It is SO tasty, especially with fish, so why not throw something different on the barbie and keep your finger on the pulse with this little showstopper?

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*This post was a collaboration, but all love of this recipe and terrible puns are my own!*