Posts Tagged ‘Lentils’

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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Surprisingly light and healthy despite the big, rich flavours.

Red Lentil & Chorizo Soup – to serve 6

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g cooking chorizo, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • pinch of cumin seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
  • pinch of golden caster sugar
  • small splash red wine vinegar
  • 250g red lentils
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomato
  • 850ml chicken stock
  • plain yogurt, to serve

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the chorizo and cook until crispy and the oil has run. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside but leave the oil in the pan. Fry the onion, carrot and cumin seeds for about 10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Sprinkle in the the paprika and sugar, cook for a minute then add the vinegar. Simmer briefly, then add the lentils and pour over the tomatoes and chicken stock.

Stir well, then simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Blitz in a blender but you don’t want it completely smooth.

Serve drizzled with the yogurt, a little extra olive oil if you like, and a sprinkle of paprika.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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A delicious main course salad by Yotam Ottolenghi.

Lentils with Grilled Aubergine – to serve 4

  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 2 tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar
  • 200g Puy lentils, rinsed
  • 3 small carrots, peeled
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • ½ white onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp  each roughly chopped parsley, coriander and dill
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche (or natural yogurt)
  • sea salt and black pepper

If you have a gas hob, you can put the aubergines directly on two moderate flames and roast for 12-15 minutes, turning often, until the flesh is soft  and the skin is burnt all over. You should protect the area around the hob with foil beforehand. Alternatively you can put the aubergines on a foil-lined baking tray and put under a hot grill for 1 hour, turning a few times. The aubergines need to completely deflate and the skin should burn and break. Make sure you pierce the aubergines in a few places with a sharp knife to avoid explosions!

Heat the oven to 140ºC/Gas Mark 1. Cut the aubergines open and scoop the flesh out into a colander, avoiding the black skin. Leave to drain for at least 15 minutes and then season with plenty of salt and pepper and ½ tbsp of the vinegar.

While the aubergines are grilling, put the lentils in a medium saucepan. Cut one carrot and half a celery stick into large chunks and throw them in. Add the bay leaf, thyme and onion, cover with lots of water and bring to the boil. Simmer on a low heat for up to 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, skimming away the froth occasionally. Drain in a sieve. Remove and discard the carrot, celery, bay leaf, thyme and onion and transfer the lentils to a large bowl. Add the rest of the vinegar, 2 tbsp of the olive oil and lots of salt and pepper; stir and set aside somewhere warm.

Chop the remaining carrot and celery into 1cm dice and mix with the tomatoes, the remaining oil, the sugar and some salt. Spread in an ovenproof dish and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the carrot is tender but still firm.

Add the cooked vegetables to the warm lentils, followed by the chopped herbs and stir gently. Adjust the seasoning. Spoon the lentils onto plates. Pile some aubergine onto each portion and top with a dollop of crème fraÎche. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Wine Suggestion: The lentils and aubergine have an earthy flavour which would be complemented by a juicy Grenache or Zinfandel based wine. Try and find one that’s not too heavy though as big flavours could overwhelm this dish.

(Original recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, Ebury Press, 2010.)


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Simple to make which makes it a perfect dish after a long day at work, plus it is packed full of flavour and deliciousness. We used Beluga lentils, which are really just a variation on Puy lentils, that hold a lovely black colour, glisten well when served and retain a good firmness when cooked; ordinary Puy lentils will work just as well.

Lentils with squash and feta – to serve 2

  • 100g Beluga lentils
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • olive oil
  • 200g butternut squash, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 50g feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 small bunch parsley, chopped

Cook the lentils in the stock for 15-20 minutes or until tender, then drain. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the squash and some seasoning then cook for about 5 minutes. Add the onions and chilli and cook for another 5 minutes or so or until the squash is golden and tender. Add the cumin and stir through. Add the lentils and stir to combine. Stir in the parsley then divide between two plates and scatter with the crumbled feta.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Wine suggestion: the earthiness of the ingredients pair well with medium bodied, earthy wines – a classic match would be a pinot noir for a red, or a sylvaner in a white.

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We’ve admired Denis Cotter from afar and when we got his new cookbook devoured it as usual. What we found was that each recipe had loads of component which built up a brilliant spectrum of flavours, and yet appeared so complex that unless you have time and patience (and sometimes the ingredients too) you’d rarely make the dishes. This one is an exception as it really comes together quite easily and the flavours are superb. We are definitely encouraged and will try more!

Spiced haloumi on a warm Puy lentil, spinach & beetroot salad – to serve 4

  • 2 medium beetroot, washed, cooked and peeled (we boiled ours for about 25 minutes)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 100ml red wine
  • 100g Puy  lentils (we used Beluga)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 dried bird’s eye chillies, ground (or less if you prefer)
  • 2 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime and juice of 2
  • 200g haloumi cheese, cut into 8 slices
  • 100g baby spinach leaves

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4.

Slice the beetroot into thin wedges, toss with the balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until starting to caramelise.

Meanwhile, bring the vegetable stock and red wine to the boil in a large pan. Add the lentils, thyme and garlic, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, uncovered, until the lentils are just tender but still firm. If there is any liquid left, turn the heat up and boil until it is almost gone. Stir in the roast beetroot and scallions, and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the chillies, cumin and lime zest together. Halve the haloumi slices diagonally.

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the haloumi until browned on both sides. Sprinkle the spice mix and juice of 1 of the limes over the cheese and toss to coat.

Place some spinach on each plate and scatter some of the lentil mix over. Arrange the haloumi slices on top and finish with the remaining lime juice.

(Original recipe from Denis Cotter’s For the love of Food, Collins, 2011.)

Wine Suggestion: You need something that’s earthy for the beetroot and lentils but also fruity and juicy to balance the heat of the spices. Try a Chilean red made from the Carmenere grape which is an emerging match for spicy food (including Indian curry!).

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Chilli & tangerine braised lentils (to serve 8 as a side dish)

4 tbsp olive oil

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1 celery stick, finely chopped

2 red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

450g dried Puy lentils, rinsed

1.2 litres hot ham cooking liquor (see recipe below)

zest and juice of 3 tangerine, plus juice of 3 reserved from ham recipe below

2 tbsp creme fraiche

bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • Heat the oil in a big saucepan and add the carrot, onion, celery, chilies and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until starting to soften.
  • Add the rinsed lentils, pour on the hot cooking liquor and two-thirds of the tangerine juice, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add more liquor if the lentils look dry.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the tangerine zest and remaining juice. Season and allow to cool a bit before stirring in creme fraiche and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature (we preferred them warm).

Click here for the original recipe from BBC Good Food.

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