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Posts Tagged ‘Lentils’

Sausages and green lentils with tomato salsa

Italian-style comfort food with honest, rustic flavours. Generous portions of deliciousness and tastes even better on the second day. Do seek out proper Italian sausages if you can – some of them are gluten-free as well for our coeliac friends.

Wine Suggestion: playing on the rustic theme works well by looking for an earthy wine match, you also need a bit of acidity which you can often find in Italian wines. We’ve successfully tried some cheaper Rosso Conero from the Marche made from Montepulciano and simple Chianti made from Sangiovese. Alternately the Insoglio del Cinghiale from the Maremma steps it up a notch, and then a step further the Pira Luigi Serralunga Barolo.

Salsicce con lenticchie verdi e salsa de pomodoro – serves 4

  • 8 good-quality Italian sausages
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 500g purple-sprouting broccoli or cima di rapa
  • juice of ½ a lemon

FOR THE SALSA ROSSA:

  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 1-2 small dried red chillies, crumbled
  • 2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes

FOR THE LENTILS:

  • 400g Puy lentils or lentichhie di Castelluccio
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • a handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped and stalks reserved
  • red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • a small handful of thyme tips

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Start with the salsa by heating some oil in a saucepan and cooking the onion, garlic, cinnamon stick and chilli over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft. Turn up the heat and add the red wine vinegar, then turn the heat to low and add the tinned tomatoes (chop them up with you hands or with a wooden spoon). Simmer the sauce slowly for about half an hour while you cook the lentils.

Put the lentils into a large pot, cover with water and add the whole cloves of garlic, the bay leaf and the parsley stalks (tied together so they’re easy to remove at the end). Simmer for about 20 minutes, checking to make sure the liquid still covers the lentils. Check regularly near the end of the cooking time to make sure they don’t overcook.

Toss the sausages in a small bit of olive oil and bake in a roasting tray for about 25 minutes until golden.

When the sausages are cooked either boil or steam the broccoli until cooked, then drain and toss with some lemon juice, good olive oil and seasoning.

Fish the parsley stalks and bay leaves out of the cooked lentils and pour off most of the water. Mash the garlic cloves with a spoon and mix into the lentils with 4 tbsp of good olive oil and 1 to 2 tbsp of vinegar. Stir in the chopped parsley, then mix and season.

Pour away any fat from the sausages and slice thickly.

Remove the cinnamon stick from the salsa and season well.

Put the lentils onto plates, spoon over the salsa and top with the sliced sausages. Sprinkle with the thyme tips and serve with the broccoli.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2005.)

 

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Salmon on lentils with herb relishEveryone loves salmon in our house and it helps with our oily fish intake, which makes us feel good about ourselves. The lentils in this dish make it good and hearty and the herb relish is fresh and delicious.

Wine Suggestion: despite it being traditional to drink rosé only during summer we like to have it all year round, and for oily “pink” fish like salmon a Provençal rosé, from Chateau Vignelaure makes a great match

Salmon on lentils with herb relish – serves 4

FOR THE LENTILS:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ a small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 150g Puy lentils
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 275ml chicken stock or water
  • squeeze of lemon juice

FOR THE HERB RELISH:

  • 50g herb leaves (parsley, basil, mint & chives)
  • 1½ tbsp capers, rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 7½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil

FOR THE SALMON:

  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 4 x 175g salmon fillets

Start with the lentils by heating the oil in a saucepan and cooking the onion, celery and carrot until starting to soften. Stir in the lentils, thyme & stock and season with pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes but keep an eye on the lentils as they can turn mushy in minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the herbs very finely and mix with the other relish ingredients.

Heat the butter and oil for the salmon in a large frying pan. Season the fillets on both sides and cook over a high heat, skin side down, until the skin is crispy. Turn the fish over carefully and cook over a medium heat for another minute or two or until cooked through.

When the lentils are cooked, add the lemon juice and a good glug of olive oil and some seasoning. Put lentils on each plate and top with the salmon fillets and relish.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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Tajik green lentil & rice soup

We made this because we had lentils, onions, celery and carrots lying around and we hate wasting anything. This is  hearty and perfectly adequate as as a stand-alone dish. The herb paste and goat’s cheese make it extra special.  Not at all bad for a leftovers soup!

Wine Suggestion: as this is so hearty and earthy a round, juicy red matches this dish well. The Beelgara Shiraz from the Riverland in Australia, while not particularly complex works well because of the warm bramble and plum flavours, medium body and gentle tannins that don’t dominate but rather sit delightfully alongside the flavours of the lentils, pesto and cheese.

Tajik Green Lentil & Rice Soup – serves 4

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 200g green or brown lentils, washed
  • 150g brown rice, washed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 120g crumbly goat’s or sheep’s cheese

For the herb paste:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • a good handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • a good handful of coriander
  • a handful of mint
  • a handful of pistachios
  • a squeeze of lemon juice

Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a good glug of olive oil. Throw in the onion, celery, carrot & tomatoes and cook until softened. Add the garlic, cumin seeds & allspice. Cook for another minute then stir in the lentils, rice & bay leaves.

Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, then turn down and cover the pan. Cook for 20-30 mintues or until the rice and lentils are tender.

To make the herb paste: put all the ingredients in a small blender with a good pinch of salt and pepper, then whizz to a thick puree.

Thin the soup with a little hot water and taste for seasoning. Serve in bowls with the herb paste & crumbled cheese on top.

(Original recipe from Samarkand by Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford, Kyle Books, 2016.)

Tajik herb paste

 

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Chicken, date & lentil pilaf with saffron butter

This tasted luxurious and refreshing with the saffron butter and orange, top notch treatment for your leftover roast chicken!

Wine Suggestion: This called for an Alsace Pinot Gris, well more specifically the Bott-Geyl Pinot d’Alsace “Metiss” which is actually a blend of all the Pinot’s you can think of plus Pinot Noir to form a layered and textured wine with lovely freshness and hints of spice that brought out the saffron and orange flavours. Bott-Geyl are a brilliant, biodynamic producer and I think each vintage they build upon the past and deliver even more. This bottle we had lying in our cellar, so they age nicely for a few years, if you can resist, but don’t worry, they taste just as good fresh and young.

Chicken, date & lentil brown rice pilaf with saffron butter – serves 6

  • 15g unsalted butter, plus an additional 30g for the saffron butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 300g brown basmati rice, washed until the water runs clear
  • 700ml chicken stock
  • 12 dates, pitted and sliced thinly, lengthways
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange and juice of ½
  • 200g Puy lentils, rinsed
  • good squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 350g cooked chicken, torn in to pieces
  • 25g chopped, unsalted pistachios or toasted flaked almonds
  • 4 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves
  • generous pinch of saffron strands
  • 300g Greek yoghurt

Heat the 15g of butter in a heavy-based saucepan and sauté the onion until soft and lightly coloured. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another couple of minutes. Add the rice and stir until well coated with the butter and starting to toast. Add the chicken stock, dates, and orange zest and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 30 minutes by which time the stock will have become absorbed. If it starts to look dry add a little boiling water.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils in lots of boiling water until tender. They can take between 15-30 minutes so keep checking to ensure they don’t turn to mush. When cooked, drain and rinse in hot water and add to the rice. Fork through, season with salt and pepper and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and quickly reheat the cooked chicken, then season. Gently fork through the rice and lentils along with the nuts, coriander and orange juice. Taste again for seasoning.

Quickly make the saffron butter by melting the 30g butter in a pan, add the saffron and stir so the butter takes on the colour.

Put the rice on a serving platter, spoon on some yoghurt,  pour on the saffron butter and serve.

(Original recipe from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2015.)

 

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Turkish carrots with lentils & herbs

We seem to permanently have a half-empty bag of carrots in the bottom of the fridge. This side dish puts them to excellent use and any leftovers are perfect for lunchboxes.

Turkish Carrots & Lentils with Herbs – serves 4-6 as a side dish

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • ¼-½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 100g green or Puy lentils
  • 6 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 275ml vegetable stock/water
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint, parsley or dill
  • good squeeze of lemon juice
  • extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until soft and pale gold. Add the garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes. Then add everything else except the herbs, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.

Bring to the boil and cook until the carrots are tender and the liquid has been absorbed – about 30 minutes.

Taste, add the herbs and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add a generous slug of extra-virgin olive oil and serve warm, hot or at room temperature.

(Original recipe from Food From Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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Smoked Haddock witha creamy green lentil stew

The pictures just don’t do justice with how delicious this dish tasted; highly recommended!

Wine Suggestion: Try complementing the smoky fish with an oaked white such as a New World Chardonnay.

Smoked haddock with lentils – serves 2

  • 250ml double cream
  • 350g piece of smoked haddock, skin removed
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • a thick slice of butter
  • 150g green lentils
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • a large handful of chopped parsley

Put the cream in a shallow pan. Add the haddock, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then turn off and cover with a lid.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Cook the carrot and onion in the butter for about 5 minutes, then add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are almost soft, then stir in the cream from the fish. Continue cooking until the liquid has reduced to just cover the lentils.

Add the parsley and season. Divide the lentils between two dishes and serve the haddock on top.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s Eat: The little book of fast food, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

 

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We challenge you to stop once you’ve started eating this! Serve as a main dish with some Greek yoghurt or yoghurt with cucumber. Leftovers are good served at room temperature.

Mejadra – to serve 6

  • 250g green or brown lentils
  • 4 medium onions
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1½ tbsp coriander seeds
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 350ml water

Put the lentils in small saucepan, cover generously with water, bring to the boil and cook for 12-15 minutes or until they are soft but still have some bite, then drain.

Thinly slice the onions and put on a large flat plate. Sprinkle with flour and 1 tsp salt and toss with your hands. Heat 250ml sunflower oil in a medium heavy-based saucepan over a high heat. The oil is ready when a small piece of onion sizzles vigorously. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add a third of the onion. Fry for 5-7 minutes, stirring now and then, until golden-brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander lined with kitchen paper and sprinkle over a little more salt. Repeat with the next two batches (add a bit more oil if necessary).

Discard the oil and wipe the saucepan clean. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and put over a medium heat and toast the seeds for a minute or two. Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, ½ tsp salt and lots of black pepper. Stir until the rice is coated with oil, then add the cooked lentils and the water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a very low heat for 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat, remove the lid and quickly cover with a clean tea towel. Seal tightly with the lid and leave for 10 minutes.

Add half the fried onion and gently fork through. Pile up in a shallow serving bowl and top with the rest of the onion.

Wine Suggestion: This dish deserves a light red without too much aggressive tannins, weight or alcohol. A youthful Syrah from a lesser appellation in the Rhone would work, like St Joseph or Crozes-Hermitage. Alternately, try a youthful local red from the Golan Heights or Lebanon where the spiciness and warmth will also compliment the flavours.

(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012)

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