Lentils with veg and herbs

Lentils with veg and herbs

This recipe is a great way to up your veg and pulse intake. Tasty little Puy lentils are a staple in my kitchen, dished up as an accompaniment to all kinds of savoury dishes. Often I just simmer, drain and season them but in this recipe they are cooked with onion, carrot and celery.

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive, plus extra to finish

2 medium-large onions, chopped into large pea-sized dice

300g carrots, peeled and chopped into large pea-sized dice

200g celery, chopped into large pea-sized dice

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1–2 bay leaves (optional)

250g Puy lentils

Sea salt and black pepper

A handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, to finish (optional)

Method

This recipe is a great way to up your veg and pulse intake. Tasty little Puy lentils are a staple in my kitchen, dished up as an accompaniment to all kinds of savoury dishes. Often I just simmer, drain and season them but in this recipe they are cooked with onion, carrot and celery.

Heat the oil in a large, wide pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay (if using) and a pinch of salt. Cook the veg, uncovered, stirring often and keeping the heat moderately high, for about 10 minutes until they are softened and very lightly coloured, but not browned.

Meanwhile, tip the lentils into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a full boil, then immediately take the pan off the heat and drain the lentils in a colander.

When the veg has had its 10 minutes, add the part-cooked lentils and 300ml fresh water (this won’t cover the lentils – don’t worry). Bring to a simmer then cover the pan. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until the lentils are tender but still with a little bit of nutty bite, stirring often to help them cook evenly.

Take the saucepan off the heat and leave to stand, covered, for about 5 minutes. You may have a little flavoursome cooking liquor left at the base of the pan at this stage. You can drain it off if you want your lentils to be completely ‘dry’ but there’s no need to – it’s very tasty! Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a little more oil. Serve warm or at room temperature, finished with a scattering of chopped parsley (if using).

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This recipe is adapted for Newcastle Can from River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury).

Photography - L: © Simon Wheeler | R: Taken at the Newcastle Can cooking demo with Hugh at Space Group Architects

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