January 14, 2016 by Smock Alley
It’s that time of year when virtue and abstinence influence the diet, enter stage right lentils. Good for you, cheap and delicious, they make a great larder staple, either as the basis of a dish or something to bulk up with. Two very simple ideas today using a very simple ingredient. Rejoice and huzzah!
Lentils go both ways, in that they are used in Asian & European cooking, especially in India & France.
The first is a European influenced dish. Cook your lentils in simmering water until tender, drain when cooked. Sauté sliced shallots, and when beginning to colour add some chorizo or pancetta, finely sliced, until they turn crisp. Add the drained lentils, some tomato puree and enough water to form a loose sauce. Transfer to an oven for 5-10 minutes to ensure the lentils and sauce are warmed all the way through. Serve with some grilled or roasted cod on top, or with some meaty sausages and crusty bread. Add a drizzle of pesto for colour.
The second recipe is indian inspired. Fry some onion in some oil, add bombay aloo spices, or whichever spices that are convenient, and cook out. Toss in some lentils, and whatever vegetables or pulses you have. We used cooked potatoes, roasted red peppers and some aubergine. Add some tomato puree, a little water and cook until the vegetables are tender. At the very end, stir some natural yoghurt through to enrich the sauce. Scatter plenty of coriander over. Great with plain brown rice.