This versatile vegetarian lentil salad can be made well in advance and eaten either as a main or as a side. It's also delicious with roasted beetroot, carrot or squash added in, or with a little very finely cooked chilli. Goat's cheese is a good alternative to feta.

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Rinse the lentils and place in a large saucepan with the bay leaves, bruised garlic, and oregano. Cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until tender (add more water if you need to). Drain and cool.
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss the vinaigrette with the lentils, onions, red pepper, ½ tsp of salt and some pepper. Leave for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more vinegar if necessary.
This salad can be prepared a few hours in advance up to this point. To serve, toss the lentil salad with the mint and place on a platter. Garnish with the crumbled feta and the olives.


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