Beetroot, feta and pomegranate salad

  • Beetroot&feta_Salad-horz

I made this salad out of ingredients to hand. It would be easy enough to vary the background ingredients – enough for two as a light meal:

  • Dressing made from:
    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 1 clove of garlic (halved)
    • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 handfuls of wild rocket
  • 4 tbsp cooked green lentils
  • 4 tbsp cooked camargue rice
  • 15 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sized cooked beetroot (diced)
  • 100g feta (diced)
  • Pomegranate seeds (from about 1/3 of a pomegranate)
  • A few small mint leaves, finely sliced

Make the dressing in a small jar. Shake, to infuse the garlic.

Arrange the rocket. Sprinkle with the lentils and rice. Arrange the tomato halves. Sprinkle with the onion, beetroot, feta, pomegranate seeds and the mint.

Carefully pour the dressing over the salad. Enjoy.

 

 

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Lentil and bulgur pilaf

This is based on an Ottolenghi recipe, which he suggests is one of the ultimate comfort foods. My version contains far less oil and butter, but still seems fairly comforting to me. Enough for 2 people as a main meal.

  • 5 tbsp olive oil;Lentil&bulgar_Pilaf
  • 1 aubergine (cut into 2cm dice);
  • 60g bulgur;
  • 70g green lentils (rinsed);
  • Bay leaf;
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds;
  • 1 medium onion (chopped);
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped/crushed);
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric;
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice;
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon;
  • 170ml water;
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds;
  • 1 tbsp raisins;
  • Zest of half a lemon (grated);
  • 15g butter;
  • Black pepper;
  • Lemon juice to taste;
  • Fresh coriander;
  • Greek yogurt (to serve on the side).

Mix 3 tbsp of oil with the diced aubergine. Spread the aubergine on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes at 180C (Gas mark 4), until browned and nearly cooked though.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils with the bay leaf on plenty of water. Bring to the boil, simmer for 12 minutes and drain (they should be al dente).

At the same time, heat the remaining oil in a large oven proof, lidded casserole, and cook the cumin seeds for about 1 minute. Turn down the heat, add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, turmeric, allspice and cinnamon, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the bulgur and the water, bring to the boil, and simmer for 3 minutes.

Stir in the aubergines, lentils, almonds, raisins, lemon zest and butter, and season with black pepper. Place in the oven at 160C (Gas Mark 3), and bake for 10 minutes, or until the lentils are just becoming soft.

Stir in lemon juice to taste, and serve sprinkled with coriander and a portion of Greek yogurt.

 

Green lentil stew

Lentil_Stew_Tile

I made a large batch of this, which provided:

  • 1 portion with added kale (cooked for 3 minutes in the stew);
  • 2 portions of pancakes (with 4 large pancakes, bechamel sauce, and grated parmesan; baked for about 25 minutes at 180C (Gas Mark 4);
  • 2 portions of ‘shepherds’ pie (with mashed potato); baked for about 25 minutes at 180C (Gas Mark 4).

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 large carrot (chopped)
  • 2 sticks celery (chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (cored, deseeded and chopped)
  • 150g mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • A large pinch of dried oregano
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 120g green lentils
  • 400ml vegi-stock
  • Black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Stir in the onion, carrot, celery and red pepper, and cook gently for 10 minutes. Turn up the heat, and stir in the mushrooms and garlic, and stir-cook for two minutes.

Stir in the oregano, tomatoes, lentils and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are cooked. Season with black pepper to taste.

If not all used immediately, allow to cool and store in the fridge (using within the next few days).

Pork and lentils

This is adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe (from Real Food). Great to eat on a cold day. Enough for 2 people:

  • 3 rashers of unsmoked streaky bacon (cut into short, thin strips)NS_Pork&Sausage
  • 250g pork belly (cut into 2 cm cubes)
  • 3 spicy pork sausages
  • 1 onion (roughly chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 300ml chicken stock (made with a 1/2 stock cube)
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 100g green lentils
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Chopped parsley

Gently cook the bacon in a large saucepan or cast iron casserole. When the fat begins to run, increase the heat and add the pork, stirring occasionally until it begins to brown. Remove the meat, leaving any fat behind (you may need to cook the pork in batches).

Add the sausages to the pan, brown them lightly and remove.

Add the onions and garlic to the pan, and cook very gently for about 10 or more minutes, until they are soft and golden.

Add the sausages, bacon and pork to the pan, together with the stock, the (whole) sprigs of thyme and the bayleaf. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the lentils and simmer for a further 40 minutes, or until both the lentils and pork are cooked.

Season with black pepper and lemon juice and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Smoked haddock with lentils

Smoked_haddock&lentils

The recipe is from Nigel Slater’s Eat. The cream and the smoked haddock make a great combination. Enough for 2:

  • 200ml double cream
  • 250g smoked haddock (skin removed)
  • 6 black pepper corns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 carrot (finely diced)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 15g butter
  • 120g green lentils
  • 300ml stock (made with vegi-stock powder)
  • A generous amount of chopped parsley
  • Black pepper and lemon juice to season

Heat the cream in a saucepan (one which will accommodate the fish), together with the haddock, the pepper corns and the bay leaves. Bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave covered. The fish should continue cooking (if not sufficiently cooked gently heat the pan again).

In another pan, melt the butter and add the carrots and onion, and gently cook for 5 minutes. Then add the lentils and the stock. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes (are until the lentils are just cooked). Stir in the cream (from cooking the fish (having removed the fish, pepper corns and bay leaves)), and continue cooking so that the liquid reduces, until it just covers the lentils.

Stir in the parsley and season. Divide the lentil mixture between two plates and top each with half the haddock.

Serve.

 

Sausage and lentil casserole

Sausage_casserole1-tileI tend to buy sausages when they’re on multi-buy offers and freeze what I don’t use immediately (in threes for sausages and sixes for chipolatas).

Enough for 2 or 3 (served with mashed potato and some chopped parsley):

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 sausages – I used some ‘chorizo style’ sausages (thickly sliced)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 stick of celery (chopped)
  • 1 chilli (deseeded and chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 green pepper (roughly sliced)
  • 120g green lentils (washed and drained)
  • A large pinch of dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1/2 beef stock cube (crumbled)
  • Black pepper
  • Hot water

Heat the oil is a large saucepan. Brown the sausages and remove. Turn down the heat and add the onion, carrot, celery, chilli and garlic, and gently cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the green pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the lentils, oregano, tomato purée, stock cube, black pepper and enough hot water to cover the contents of the pan. Stir well, bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Serve.