HOW I FELL IN LOVE WITH OTTOLENGHI TODAY

IMG_3073Hello there. Happy new year.

I just might try to write a little something each Wednesday. Maybe. This is not a New Year’s resolution, I’m not much into making resolutions, but I have been meaning to share a little more of things I make, do, and see.

It just so happened that today I looked for a lentil salad recipe. Ingredients were sparse in the kitchen as we haven’t been shopping since returning from the holidays. This recipe from Ottolenghi fell upon my screen, and wow-wee! It’s worth sharing.

I was lucky enough to have everything for the recipe, or just about. I didn’t have hazelnut oil, so I did without. I used dried spearmint instead of fresh mint since my little mint plant is just that: little. And I had no thyme, so I used rosemary. Even with the changes, this recipe stood out as excellent light winter fare. Love! Heart! Hugs!

IMG_3072

recipe for Celeriac and Lentils with Hazelnut and Mint

from Ottolenghi

60g whole hazelnuts (skin on)
200g Puy lentils
700ml water
2 bay leaves
4 thyme sprigs
1 small celeriac (650g), peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp hazelnut oil
3 tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar
4 tbsp chopped mint
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 140°C, or 280°F. Scatter the hazelnuts on a small baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Let them cool down, then chop roughly. (I’ve always got these on hand, stored in an airtight container.)

Combine the lentils, water, bay leaves and thyme in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until al dente. Drain in a sieve.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, cook the celeriac in plenty of boiling salted water for 8–12 minutes, or until just tender. Drain.
In a large bowl mix the hot lentils (if they have cooled down they won’t soak up all the flavours) with the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the hazelnut oil, the vinegar, some black pepper and plenty of salt. Add the celeriac and stir well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To serve straight away, stir in half the mint and half the hazelnuts. Pile onto a serving dish or in a bowl and drizzle the remaining hazelnut oil on top. Garnish with the rest of the mint and hazelnuts. (I served warm!)
To serve cold, wait for the lentils and celeriac to cool down before finally adjusting the seasoning and possibly adding some more vinegar, if you like. Add hazelnut oil, mint and nuts in the same way as when serving hot.

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