Some lentils, cleriac, nuts and a bit of seasoning – amazing that something so simpel can taste this increadible
Do you already own Yotoma Ottolenghi’s amazing recipe book ‘Plenty’? No? It is a collection of extremely creative and unbelievably tasty vegetarian recipes.
I already shared recipes based on his chickpea pancakes and his lentils with roast vegetables and grilled aubergine. As I mention in this last post, I will not be sharing many of his recipes as you really should buy his book. But to whet your appetite, here is one more wonderful dish.
And just so you know: I have cooked a few other dishes from the book. I loved them, but will not share them with you. I will not even tell you what they are called so you cannot search for them on-line. You will just have to get the book yourself and explore
A big thank you to RE for the beautiful little dishes I served the lentils in. Such a lovely present – you know me so well
( hardly altered from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe from ‘Plenty’)
60g whole hazelnuts
200g Beluga or Puy Lentils
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
1 small celeriac (about 650g)
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp hazelnut oil (alternatively use walnut oil)
3 tbsp balsamic (or red-wine) vinegar
4 tbsp chopped mint
salt, black pepper
- Preheat oven to 140C..
- Scatter hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool and chop roughly.
- Combine lentils, water, bay leaves and thyme in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or all dente.
- Drain in a sieve and discard leaves and thyme.
- Peel the celeriac and cut into 1 cm chips.
- Bring water to the boil. Add salt and cook celeriac for 8-12 minutes or until just tender. Drain.
- Mix the hot lentils (if they are cool they will not absorbe the flavours of the dressing) with olive oil, 2 tbsp of the hazelnut oil, vinegar, pepper and plenty of salt.
- Add three quarters of the celeriac and stir. Adjust seasoning.
- To serve warm: stir in half the mint and half the hazelnuts. Spoon on a serving dish and drizzle with the remaining tbsp of hazelnut oil. Garnish with the rest of the celeriac, mint and nuts.
- To serve cold: allow the lentils to cool and adjust seasoning again; possibly adding some more vinegar as well. When you are ready to serve finish the dish the same was as when serving hot.
- As a vegetarian main with a side salad. Yotam recommends radish, cucumber, dill dressed with sour cream and olive oil
- As a side dish to a plain steamed white fish
Honest and hearty tasting lentils with crunchy roast vegetables and silky aubergine
Welcome to 2013!
Although I am not superstitious, I really do enjoy rituals of celebration. So what better way is there to start the New Year than with a plate full of lentils for abundance of happiness (or is it money?).
This recipe is from Ottolenghi’s “Plenty”. (It cannot be a coincidence that I gifted this book to myself on Thanksgiving last year )
As lovely as all this the symbolism is, I believe that the first days of the year are for relaxing and lounging around rather than standing in the kitchen for hours on end. So I would not be suggesting this recipe if it were not so easy to put together. The only thing that takes a little effort is the grilled aubergine. At the same time it really tastes amazing and adds another dimension to the dish. I have two suggestions: either make as much of this fabulous grilled aubergine as possible; keep the rest (refrigerate or freeze) to make baba ganouch to have later with some soft warps and lamb, for example. Or take a short cut by leavening out the aubergine and replacing it with a piece of delicate steamed fish.
By the way, Ottolenghi’s “Plenty” is a wonderful vegetarian recipe book. I will not be sharing many recipes from it on my blog as I think you really should get it yourself. So consider this a little amuse bouch for the New Year.
(virtually only ratios altered from Yotam Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty’)
1-2 medium aubergine for this dish (but make as many as you can)
2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar (alternative: balsamic)
4 tbsp olive oil
150g lentils (Black Beluga I love for this dish as they keep their shape but Puy will do)
5 small carrots
4 celery sticks
2 bay leaf
3 sprigs of thyme (or a little dried if you are at a pinch)
1/2 white onion
18 cherry tomatoes
1/3 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp fresh coriander
1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp fresh parsley
salt, black pepper
optional: 2 tbsp yoghurt (or creme fraiche)
Although the traditional way to cook aubergines is oven an open flame, I prefer making them under the grill so I can prepare as many as possible in one go.
Grill: Line a baking tray with a double layer of aluminum foil. Pierce aubergines a few times with a fork (to stop them from exploding.) Place them directly under a hot grill for about 1 hour, turning them a few times. The aubergines should deflate and the skin should burn and break.
Hob: Pierce aubergine a few times with fork. Place them directly over two moderate, open flames. Roast until burnt (about 15 min).
- Rinse the lentils. Place them in a medium saucepan.
- Cut 2 carrots and 1 celery stick into large pieces. Add to lentils.
- Add 1/2 onion in one piece as well as bay leaves and thyme to the pot.
- Cover with plenty of water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 25 min (or until lentils are tender but not mushy.)
- Drain in a sieve and remove all the vegetables and herbs.
- Transfer lentils to a mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp vinegar.
- Season with plenty of pepper and especially salt.
- Set aside somewhere warm (this dish is best served warm but can be served at room temperature.)
- Whilst the lentils are cooking, cut remaining 3 carrots and 3 celery sticks into 1-2 cm chunks.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Throw the vegetables into a large oven dish and mix with1 tbsp olive oil, the sugar and some salt.
- Cook in the oven for 20 min until carrot is tender but still firm.
- Chop the coriander, dill, parsley.
- Add 2/3 of the vegetables and herbs to the lentils. Carefully combine.
- Taste to adjust seasoning.
- Spoon lentils onto serving dish. Top with remaining vegetables and herbs.
- Pile aubergine on the top.
- Add a dollop of yoghurt if using.
Tips & Variations
- If you are rushed for time skip roasting the aubergine and steam some fish instead
- If you do have the time to make the aubergine make plenty refrigerate or freeze it to use for baba ganouch dip
- Some blanched green beans
Earthy, rich winter flavours
It is cold and rainy outside and I am craving comforting food. But none of my go-to dishes from the last months will do – they are all to light and summery.
So on a whim I bought some duck breast. It has a more distinct and earthy flavour than chicken at the same time it is just as lean and healthy (that is if you remove the skin).
Next I hunted for a recipe. I found one that combined all that I was looking for: rich and nutty flavours – nutritious and healthy ingredients. The result was an amazingly satisfying and soothing meal.
I will confess I have made this dish three times in as many weeks. The first time it seemed a little complex; with all those pots and pans. But by the third time I was sitting down to eat in little over half an hour.
(Recipe based on the blog savory simple)
1 large or 2 small duck breast
2 shallot (or small onion)
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of lentils
2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock (twice the volume of the lentils)
1 sprig of thyme (or a pinch of dried thyme)
200g of frozen kale (you can use fresh kale but I will admit I prefer frozen for this recipe)
salt, back pepper
250g (chestnut) mushrooms
- Bring the duck breast to room temperature (about 30 minutes).
- Start by chopping the shallots. Slowly fry them in a small pot until translucent.
- Once cooked place half of the shallots in a second small pot.
- Rinse the lentils and add to one of the pots.
- Add the chicken stock to the lentils.
- Throw in one whole clove of garlic.
- Add the (sprig of ) thyme. Cover and cook until the lentils are tender. About 20 minutes. (The lentils will stay warm for quite a while so there is no need to try and time everything exactly.)
- Take the second pot with shallots and add the kale to it.
- Mince one clove of garlic and add to the kale. Cover with a lid and cook until tender. 7-10 minutes. Once cooked you can let it stand until the remaining dishes are ready. You can quickly reheat it if necessary.
- Heat a frying pan (no oil!)
- Score the skin of the duck from left to right and top to bottom a few times into a diamond pattern.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the duck breast skin side down into the pan and cook on a medium heat for 6 minutes. Turn and cook for another 4 minutes. Wrap the duck in aluminum foil and allow to rest.
- Cut the mushrooms into slices. Wipe the fat from the frying pan. Fry the mushrooms quickly until just tender.
- Now taste and season the mushrooms, kale and lentils with salt and pepper.
- Optional: remove the skin from the duck (as tasty as it is I remove it as I do not want the additional fat).
- Cut the duck breast into slices.
- Serve by layering lentils, kale, mushroom and duck on a plate.
Combine earthy lentils with crunchy vegetables and salty feta for an effortless salad
Sometimes I doubt whether a recipe is really post-worthy; some dishes seem so…… everyday. I had the same hesitation about this Lentil Feta Salad recipe. That is until I was on the phone to my sister yesterday:
we were sharing how hard it is to cook healthy food on those days where you are rushed or lack inspiration. I promised to email her some of my favourite go-to solutions. Afterwards I thought: why not post them? If it is one of my go-to recipes, why not share them?
I hereby present you with a humble, healthy and effortless recipe for Lentil Feta Salad.
Fry up a quick steak or stick some easy Mustard Chicken into the oven and within no time you have a nutritious week night dinner. By the way, this recipe is also great as a quick side for a bbq.
(based on the recipe from Bill Granger’s ‘Bill’s Open Kitchen’)
1 can of lentils (or cook dry du Puy lentils for 15-20 minutes)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
optional: 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
optional: 1 tsp ground allspice (NL, DE: piment)
200g (7 oz) cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion
15g (1/2 cup) flat-leaf parsley
about 12 mint leaves
100g (3 1/2 oz) feta
- Rinse and drain the lentils.
- Whisk oil, lemon and spices together.
- Strain the lentils and combine with the dressing. (If you cooked the lentils stir the dressing into the warm lentils)
- Slice the cucumber into four lengthways and then dice.
- Cut the tomatoes into halves.
- Slice the onion as thinly as possible.
- Roughly chop the parsley and mint.
- Gently combine all the prepared ingredients with the lentils.
- Spoon salad into a serving dish and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.
Tips & Variations
This is a very flexible salad you can
- leave out the tomatoes
- leave out mint
- replace lentils with chickpeas
- add diced red capsicum (NL, DE: paprika)
Welcome autumn with these warm flavours
Autumn has arrived and the chill is creeping in. It is time to pull out a thick coat and some hearty recipes.
This “pizza” is exactly what I was looking for. It is full of the deep and rich flavours of fall; the sweet onion and butternut balance wonderfully with the tangy rocket and goats cheese.
The base has a satisfying texture: chewy in the center and very crispy at the edges. And what a fabulous way of incorporating some more pulses into my meals.
The list of ingredients seems very long, but it really is not complicated. It will take little over an hour including baking time. Also you can prepare the “pizza” ahead: I made a double the amount and stored half the topping in the fridge for about four days. The crust I froze by way of experiment. I allowed the crust to defrosted a little, threw the topping on and had another dinner ready in no time.
(found on the blog ‘Natural Noshing’)
1 can (19 oz or 540 ml) beans (giant, white kidney or navy beans)
60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
120ml (1/2 cup) unsweetened soy- or almond milk
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp tapioca, potato or corn starch
60gr (1/4 cup) buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 small butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
small handful rocket (arugula, NL/DE: Rucola)
100g goat cheese
optional: 1 tbsp fresh sage
- Preheat oven to 190C (375F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Rinse and drain the beans. Process them in a food processor until you have a chunky paste.
- Grind the chia seeds in a coffee grinder or pestle and mortar.
- Add to the beans together with all the remaining ingredients. Combine but do not over process.
- Form into one or two pizzas on the baking sheet. (You can oil your fingers if the dough is sticking too them.)
- Bake 30-35 min until edges and bottom is lightly browned.
- The crust can be frozen at this point. Slide the parchment paper onto a chopping board and wrap in clingfilm and/or freezer bag. The crust will remain fragile even when frozen so handle carefully. Allow crust to defrost slightly before topping.
- Top the crust and cook for 15-20 (individual servings) 20-30 (one large pizza).
- Preheat oven to 190C (375F).
- Peel the squash and cut into 2 cm cubes. Place on a baking tray and toss with 1 tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake squash for about 30 minutes until some edges have gone slightly brown. Toss once or twice during baking.
- Cut onion into thin rings. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small saucepan. Add onion and stir frequently until onion just begins to colour. Add balsamic and large pinch of salt. Cover and simmer on low heat. Cook for 25 min stirring once in a while.
- Roughly chop rocket and crumble goats cheese.
- Place rocket on the crust. Then onion, squash and cheese.
- Cook for 15-20 (individual servings) 20-30 (one large pizza).
Tips & Variations
The original recipe asks for 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (45 g or 1.6 oz) coconut flour. I did not have any. Maybe that is why my crust was a little cracked.
A rocket salad. Add something fresh and crisp, apple for example.