Lately we’ve been focused on plant-based recipes, occasionally rounding out with seafood for protein (though an occasional free-range chicken crosses our road from time to time). Whether that is your focus as well or even if you’re just looking to give a little extra pizzazz to your veggie sides, I can’t recommend Plenty and Plenty More by Yotem Ottolenghi enough. I am cooking my non-linear way through both of these books just as fast as I can and have yet to find a single recipe that wasn’t just plain amazing.
We made this recipe three times in two weeks. it’s delicious as an appetizer or even as a main entree. You can use toast or flatbread or even crackers for your delivery system (I confess when it came to left-overs the next day, I skipped all the above and went straight for a spoon). You’ll like this one, I promise! You can find the original recipe at the Ottolengi official site.
- 1 cup small green Puy lentils (look for the smaller ones, sometimes called French lentils, not the regular ones)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cups finely diced tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes which worked perfectly)
- a full cup of cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup tahini paste
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1/3 small red onion, sliced very thinly
- 4 eggs, hard boiled
- hot smoked paprika, regular paprika, or sumac to garnish
Bring a medium pan of water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook for 15-20 minutes, until completely cooked, drain and set aside.
Put the butter and oil in a large sauté pan and place on a medium-high heat. Once the butter melts, add the garlic and cumin, and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, 20g of coriander and the cooked lentils. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, then add the tahini, lemon juice, 70ml of water, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Turn down the heat to medium and cook gently, stirring, for a few minutes more, until hot and thickened. Roughly mash the lentils with a potato masher, so that some are broken up and you get a thick, porridge consistency.
Spread out the lentils on a flat platter, run a fork through to make a wavy pattern on top, and scatter on the sliced onion, the remaining coriander and a final drizzle of olive oil. Serve warm with the hard-boiled eggs alongside.