Lovely lentils

Not to get high and mighty about it, but it is just about possible that some of us may have marginally overdone it over the Christmas period - and are about to do it all again for New Year's Eve or with a feast on New Year's Day. An ingredient of the week, then, to aid in a marginal spot of detox betwixt the two.

Puy lentils, aside from being delicious and nutritious, contain an amino acid called arginine, which is great for your liver and also aids in the breakdown of ammonia - a side effect of eating a tad too much protein. These small, slate coloured lentils are part of the legume family and are often thought to be the tastiest of lentils.

They are named after the area in which they are grown - Le Puy in France (also widely known for producing a drink from verbena known as Verveine. As one would imagine, the lentils are delicious with a Toulouse sausage or two, braised with a mire-poix along with herbs like thyme. They are also brilliant served cold - dressed with a vinaigrette while still warm, allowed to cool and then tossed with torn kalamata olives, slivers of cucumber and red onion, pomegranate seeds for a dash of colour and a smattering of chopped parsley and crumbled goat's cheese.

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