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Tag Archives: lentils
  • Posted on October 16, 2015

    Happy Dahl!

    Don’t know about you, but we’re reaching the time of year when we’re fully ready for hibernation. It’s getting darker earlier and earlier, and we’re still trying to tell ourselves that the weather is crisp rather than bracing. The joy of this time of year though is cooking soup or stews; putting loads of flavourful ingredients into a big pot, letting it all cook down and voila – delicious lunches for the week ahead. Armed with our new book, At Home with Umami by Laura Santtini, we’ve got this delicious dahl in mind – the perfect autumn warmer!


    Everyone so far who has tried it, loves this recipe, so I call it ‘happy dahl’ as it always makes me feel like I am doing something right! For ease, you could use a tablespoon of curry powder instead of the spices listed below. You want the consistency to be slightly runny, so you may need to add a little water if it looks too dry. Serve with rice, tangy turmeric yogurt and plenty of fresh coriander/cilantro.

    65 g/4 tablespoons butter

    1 large onion, halved then sliced

    2 teaspoons ground cumin

    1 teaspoon ground coriander

    ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

    2 teaspoons turmeric

    3 cardamom pods

    ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

    200 g/1 cup plus 2 tablespoons red lentils

    750 ml/3 cups stock

    Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

    40 g/½ cup desiccated/dried, shredded coconut

    Sea salt

    1 medium head of broccoli, cut into small florets

    200 g/7 oz. Cherry tomatoes (approx. 16–18), halved

    Handful fresh coriander/cilantro, finely chopped


    3 tablespoons Greekstyle yogurt

    1 teaspoon ground turmeric

    1 tablespoon chopped coriander/cilantro

    1 teaspoon of mango and/or lime chutney

    SERVES 4

    Heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, and sauté the onion until golden.

    Add the cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, turmeric, cardamom pods and black pepper and fry for 1 minute.

    Add the lentils and stir, making sure they are coated in all the spices.

    Add the stock, lemon juice and the coconut. Season with salt.

    Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 40–45 minutes until the lentils are cooked. If the liquid evaporates too quickly, you can add some more from the kettle. The mixture should not be dry – it should be a soft, slightly sloppy, dahl consistency.

    Meanwhile, make the turmeric yogurt by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and mixing well.

    Five minutes before the lentils are done, add the broccoli florets. Stir gently. Cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.

    Add the cherry tomatoes cover for another 3–4 minutes.

    Test the broccoli – you want it to still have a bite, as it will continue to cook off the heat. If you let it overcook now, it will go mushy by the time you serve.

    Divide between bowls, top with chopped coriander/cilantro and serve with the turmeric yogurt.

    At Home with Umami by Laura Santtini is available here.

    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with lentils, savoury, spices, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, tomato, 2015, healthy, umami

  • Posted on June 12, 2015

    Recipe for the Weekend

    We’ve had a fun Friday today. We’ve posted the first in a new series of videos on our Youtube channel, The Pantry, called Jen and Polly Chat… (although our Rights Assistant has just pointed out, we really missed a trick by not calling them Jolly Chats!) We’ll be posting one a month, talking about new books, and recipes we’re excited for. This month we’re all about Summer Recipes. You can watch the video here, and to celebrate we’re sharing a recipe from one of the books we talk about: The Salad Bowl by Nicola Graimes.

    If you have any comments, advice or ideas about what you'd like to see in future Jen and Polly Chat... videos, please let us know by commenting on the video, or on Facebook or Twitter.

    Puy lentils, grapefruit & feta cheese with harissa dressing

    Harissa, the fiery North African spice paste, adds both colour and flavour to the dressing for this substantial Puy lentil salad. Oranges can be substituted for the grapefruit, if you prefer a slightly sweeter fruit. Serve with warm flatbreads on the side.

    250 g/9 oz. dried Puy lentils

    60 g/2 oz. watercress, tough stalks removed, separated into small sprigs

    60 g/2 oz. baby spinach leaves, tough stalks trimmed

    1 pink or red grapefruit, peeled, pith removed and segmented

    1 small red onion, diced a handful of mixed sprouted beans

    200 g/7 oz. feta cheese, cubed


    5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

    1 teaspoon harissa paste

    sea salt and freshly

    ground black pepper

    Serves 4

    Put the lentils in a pan and cover with plenty of water.

    Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer, part-covered, for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer the lentils to a serving bowl.

    Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the dressing, season and set aside.

    Add the watercress and spinach to the serving bowl.

    Remove the membrane from the grapefruit segments over a dish and add the segments to the salad. Pour any juice from the grapefruit into the dressing.

    Add the onion and mixed bean sprouts and pour the dressing over. Toss the salad until thoroughly combined and sprinkle the feta over before serving.


    The French Puy lentil with its dusky, blue-grey marbled skin is ideal for salads as it keeps its shape after cooking.

    Adding lentils to a salad is an easy way to add substance, turning it into a complete meal, especially when  partnered with oily fish, lamb, poultry, eggs or cheese.

    The Salad Bowl by Nicola Graimes is available here.

    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with lentils, salad, savoury, recipe for the weekend, cheese, vegetarian, video, Nicola Graimes, 2015, healthy

  • Posted on January 9, 2015

    Recipe for the Weekend

    We’re slowly drifting further into January; work feels like a familiar routine again, relaxed afternoons filled with books and chocolate are now a distant memory, and as always, a few of those healthy eating resolutions are starting to wear a bit thin! If you’re struggling to stick to your lettuce leaf lunch or breakfast in a bottle then we’ve got a deliciously healthy recipe for you today that will keep you on track, because here at RPS and CICO Books Towers, we believe that healthy eating should still mean tasty eating!

    Taken from the flavour-filled new book, Out of the Pod, this recipe will make you reconsider the humble salad (and lovely lentils!) and will have you reaching for the herbs to freshen up your dull diet dishes. We hope you enjoy it and good luck with your resolutions!

    salad of puy lentils with roasted beetroot

    The habit of serving lentils with beet(root) goes back to Roman times. Writing in 2nd-century Rome, the physician and philosopher Galen recommended this health-giving combination in his treatise On the Power of Foods, dressing the salad with a sweet and salty fish sauce. If a fishy taste appeals, add some fish sauce to the dressing instead of salt. Serve the salad on its own, or strewn with crumbled salty cheese, such as feta, or slices of grilled halloumi cheese.

    500 g/1 lb. beet(root), peeled and cut into wedges

    3 tablespoons olive oil

    3 fresh or dried bay leaves

    1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

    200 g/1 cup dried Puy or French green lentils, rinsed and drained

    2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole

    3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

    salt and ground black pepper

    For the dressing:

    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

    1 tablespoon maple syrup

    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    salt and ground black pepper

    Serves 4–6


    Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF) Gas 4.

    Place the beet(root) in a small roasting pan, and toss in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil together with 3 tablespoons of water, 2 of the bay leaves and the thyme. Season with salt and pepper, cover with aluminium foil and roast in the preheated oven until they are soft – about 1 hour.

    Meanwhile, boil the lentils in a saucepan of water, together with the whole garlic cloves and the remaining bay leaf and olive oil, for about 30 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked.

    Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together.

    Drain the lentils and stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the dressing and the chopped fresh herbs. Arrange the chunks of cooked beet(root) over, drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve at room temperature.


    Out of the Pod by Vicky Jones is available here.

    Have a lovely weekend everyone and happy healthy eating!

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with lentils, olive oil, beetroot, parsley, savoury, thyme, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, 2014, balsamic, healthy, Out of the Pod

  • Posted on December 27, 2012

    Overindulged this festive break?


    the guilt-free gourment the guilt-free gourment

    Jordan and Jessica’s gorgeous recipes are nutritious yet indulgent. They cleverly use healthier alternative ingredients and never compromise on flavour.’ Rachel Allen

    And so that was Christmas. The last of the Quality Street® are left rattling around the bottom of the tin like tumbleweed skittering across a wild west film set. And as 2013 has arrived, the time has perhaps come to consider the old maxim ‘ new year, new you’.

    Gentle introductions are often the most persuasive route to change and with this in mind we’d like to share a recipe from The Guilt-free Gourmet by brother and sister duo Jordan and Jessica Bourke. Their lovely book is packed with gorgeous wholesome yet indulgent recipes, all free from sugar, wheat and dairy.

    Here’s a recipe guaranteed to help set all good intentions on the right path.

    Aubergine, puy lentils & sun-dried tomatoes with mint oil

    A note from Jordan: ‘I was asked to cook for a dinner party last year and when I suggested lentils as a pairing for the meat, the host laughed at me! Her feeling was that lentils were ‘a bit too hippy, vegan’ for her, and that her guests would rather have potato. The problem is, people don’t realize that with lentils it is all about the seasoning – lashings of olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Here sun-dried tomatoes, lentils and aubergine/ eggplant make a delicious yet simple accompaniment to fish or meat.’

    300 g/11⁄2 cups Puy lentils (or other green lentils)
    extra virgin olive oil
    1 red onion, finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    450 ml/2 cups vegetable stock (or water with a carrot, 1⁄2 onion, celery stalk, dried bay leaf and thyme sprigs thrown into the lentils to make your own stock as they are cooking)
    3 aubergines/eggplants, topped, tailed and cut into 1⁄2-cm/1⁄4-inch slices
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1⁄2
    100 g/2⁄3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
    1 tablespoon agave syrup
    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
    big handful of fresh mint leaves

    Serves 4

    Wash and drain the lentils.
    Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, lidded casserole dish over medium heat. Turn down the heat a little, add the onion and fry gently until soft and translucent but not coloured. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the lentils and stir well. Pour the vegetable stock in and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, simmer, then cover with the lid and cook for 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender and have absorbed most of the stock.

    Meanwhile, heat a large, dry stovetop grill pan over medium heat until hot. Using a pastry brush, coat the aubergine/eggplant slices with oil on both sides. Place them on the pan and fry for a few minutes. Check they have gone a golden brown and then flip over and fry for another few minutes until golden. When they are cooked, they should be soft to the touch. Remove
    to a plate and season with salt. Drizzle over the agave syrup and plenty of oil. (The quality of the oil is key here, as the aubergine really soaks it all up so you will really be able to taste it.)

    When the lentils are done, drain them of all but a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid. While they are still hot, season with the lemon zest and juice, vinegar and soy sauce and a few glugs of oil. Mix well and allow to cool slightly. Taste it when it is at room temperature and season if necessary. Add the tomatoes and mix together.

    Finely chop the mint leaves (reserving a few for serving) and combine with enough oil to make a dense mint oil. To serve, nestle the aubergine/eggplant slices among the lentils, drizzle over the mint oil and scatter with the remaining leaves.

    Guilt-free because…
    Puy lentils have a wonderful ‘meaty’ texture yet contain no cholesterol, are high in protein and have a very low glycaemic index, which means they release energy at a slow and steady rate. They are a good source of fibre, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

    The Guilt-free Gourmet by Jordan and Jessica Bourke, photography Kate Whitaker is published by Ryland Peters & Small rrp £16.99

    Jordan and Jessica Jordan and Jessica

    Jordan and Jessica have their own website . Click here to see more.



    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Featured, UK and was tagged with New Year, Guilt Free Gourmet, aubergine, lentils, olive oil, mint, Jordan Bourke

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