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Smoked chicken with beetroot, grains and lentils

Signe Johansen / 05 October 2016

Enjoy this delicious, healthy smoked chicken salad recipe from Norwegian chef Signe Johansen.

Smoked chicken with beetroot, grains and lentils
Smoked chicken with beetroot, grains and lentils




  • 200g puy lentils
  • 200g pearled spelt (or barley)
  • 400g smoked chicken, sliced
  • 300g pickled beetroot, sliced
  • Mixed salad of choice, washed and dried
  • Oil and vinegar of your choice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 1 bunch each of chervil, dill, parsley and chives
  • Edible flowers
  • Toasted nuts such as pecans, hazelnuts, almonds and/or walnuts


This recipe is typical of the simple but delicious food enjoyed in the Nordic hygge lifestyle philosophy, which emphasises the importance of enjoying ad hoc meals with loved ones, spending time in nature and coziness.

Chicken was always considered something of a luxury when I was growing up in Norway. Whole chickens were exorbitantly expensive so we never had the tradition of a chicken roast on Sundays like you have here in the UK. When I’m short on time, this is my go-to chicken dish—it’s quick to prepare, full of diverse flavours and textures and supremely delicious.

1. Rinse the puy lentils and pearled spelt and cook according to the packet instructions (or use the ready-cooked variety if you’re really famished and pressed for time).

2. Once they’re cooked, remove from the stove and allow to cool a little before assembling the salad.

3. Divide the ingredients equally between four plates, or arrange them on a large serving platter.

4. Dress a drizzle of oil and vinegar and some seasoning.

5. Scatter the herbs (if using), flowers and nuts around the dish to make a colourful arrangement and eat within an hour as the salad leaves and flowers will wilt quite quickly.

Variations: as an alternative, try smoked duck or smoked venison, bacon, bresaola or any salty charcuterie/cured meat that complements the earthy flavour of the beets and the freshness of green herbs.

How to Hygge: The Secrets of Nordic Living by Signe Johansen is out October 20 2016, published by Bluebird, RRP £14.99.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.