Yes, it is November and I’m trying to drag out picnic season for as long as possible. So this weekend, I took the opportunity to take a couple of friends who had come to visit, to the Château de Versailles for a picnic. They had both already been to the palace once before, but hadn’t had the chance to explore the grounds in details, and as Saturday’s weather was set to be a perfect crisp, blue, autumnal day, there seemed like it would probably be the last time to sit out and enjoy the surroundings without catching a cold.

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For a filling meal packed with vegetables to last us through a long walk afterwards and a long journey home, I chose to prepare a lentil and salad as it’s fresh, simple to make and very tasty.

Ingredients:

– 250g green lentils
– 200g feta, diced
– 2 shallots, thinly sliced
– 1 red pepper, diced
– 2 avocados, diced
– 1 ripe, beef tomato, diced

For the dressing:

– 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
– 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
– Pinch of salt
– A few twists of freshly ground black pepper

Method:

– Cook lentils in simmering water for 20-25 minutes, drain and leave to cool for around 5 minutes.
– Combine ingredients apart from the avocado and mix together.
– Divide between 4 pots, top with the avocado and spoon the dressing on top.

This recipe is truly that simple but make sure not to put too much salt in the dressing, as feta is quite a salty cheese in itself and does a good job on its own of bringing out the flavour of the tomatoes without much help. Don’t forget to bring a fresh baguette along with you to soak up what’s left.

Bananas are a great fruit to bring along with you on a picnic, and although there are always bins in big parks like Versailles, the best option would be, in terms of zero waste, would be to put the skins back in the pots used for the salad, to bring back home with you to be added to the compost pile.

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Needless to say, bringing cutlery from home it always a good idea. I also use a small set bought from the ever-so-handy Sin Plastico. The glass pots are from Nos Bons Plats Chez Vous, which is a stellar catering company used throughout Paris, and I have about 12 of these at home, you know, just in case.

How do you reduce waste it comes to your lunch time break?

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