1 small red onion or 2 shallots, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon mustard (Dijon or wholegrain)
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup/125g French green lentils
100g whole almonds
1 lemon
250g carrots, halved if small, cut in chunky batons if large
½ teaspoon dried oregano
olive oil for drizzling
250g green beans, halved
2 cups flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped
2-3 cans sardines (approx. 300g total), drained
olive & oregano flatbread, to serve (see recipe)

Sardines are not for everyone, but for those of us who love them this is a great dinner salad. Substitute tuna or shredded chicken if you prefer. Sardines can vary in price quite a lot so I did a taste comparison and found the cheapest ones had a stronger tinned fish flavour, but mid- and higher-priced sardines had a smooth, mild taste.

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1.Heat the oven to 160°C.
2.Put the onion, vinegar, mustard and salt in a large bowl and season with pepper then whisk in 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
3.Put the lentils in a saucepan with plenty of water and bring to the boil.
4.Cook for 20 minutes until tender then drain well.
5.Put in the bowl with the dressing, toss well then set aside to cool.
6.set aside to cool. Put the almonds on a baking tray and cook for 10 minutes until toasted. Cool, chop and set aside.
7.Raise the oven heat to 200°C fan bake.
8.Line a baking tray with baking paper.
9.Slice the lemon in half lengthways then each half into very thin slices.
10.On the baking tray, combine the lemon with the carrots, oregano, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
11.Roast for 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times during the cooking.
12.Add these to the lentils but don’t combine.
13.Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the beans for 2–3 minutes then drain and rinse with cold water.
14.Add to the bowl with the lentils.
15.Just before serving, toss the lentils, carrots, lemons and beans together with the parsley and half the almonds and arrange on a serving dish.
16.Top with the sardines and scatter with remaining almonds and drizzle with remaining oil.
17.Serve with olive and oregano flatbread.

Recipes & food styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles