Braised lentils

Braised lentils

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen

I rarely choose to combine protein with carbs, for me the mix is usually too heavy. However, I do like to work with pulses, especially lentils. Scattered over a dish, their earthy flavour and texture lend a real depth without detracting or masking the flavours of the other ingredients. The little brown Castelluccio lentils from Umbria in Italy are my favourite. Puy lentils are also very good and may be easier for you to find. You need to be careful not to overcook lentils or they will become sludgy – they need to retain a definite bite.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g castelluccio or puy lentils
1 red or yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 3 chunks
1 red chilli
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2-3cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
5 thyme or parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chopped coriander root
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame or walnut oil

Method

  1. Rinse the lentils and place them in a deep saucepan along with the onion, carrot, chilli, garlic cloves, ginger, thyme or parsley, bay leaves and coriander root. Add enough water to cover the lentils completely and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are cooked but still have a bite, about 20 minutes.
  2. Immediately remove from the heat and drain in a colander, then tip the lentils into a bowl. While they are still warm (so they absorb the flavours better), dress with the sherry vinegar, tamari and your chosen oil. Use as required.
  3. You can keep these lentils in the fridge for up to 5 days, but take them out at least an hour before serving, to bring them back to room temperature.
Tags:
seasonal
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