Fast Recipes

Emma McCaskill's green asparagus, fennel, lentil and labne salad

A combination that just works.

By Emma McCaskill
  • Serves 4
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This salad was inspired by a love for Simon Bryant's range of lentils, grown in South Australia and Victoria. Add a poached egg to turn it into a breakfast salad.


  • 4 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra to taste
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
  • 300 gm black or small green lentils
  • 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
  • 1½ tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a mandolin, some fronds reserved
  • 80 gm (⅓ cup) labne


  • 1
    Combine shallot and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside to soften.
  • 2
    Blanch asparagus in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until bright green, but retaining some crunch (30 seconds to 1 minute). Refresh, drain, then thinly slice on an angle. Refrigerate until needed.
  • 3
    Add lentils to the same saucepan and simmer until tender but still a little al dente (15-20 minutes). Drain well, then transfer to a large bowl.
  • 4
    Whisk oil, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl until emulsified, season to taste and add to lentils. Add asparagus, almond and shallot and lemon juice and toss to combine.
  • 5
    Divide lentil salad among plates and top with labne. Place fennel in a bowl, add lemon juice and sea salt to taste, and toss to combine. Scatter it over the salad and top with fennel fronds to serve.