It feels like ages since my last recipe post! It has been ages, in blogging time anyway. I’ve had some time off back in Derbyshire, where Adam and I are both from, doing touristy things like going to Chatsworth, reliving childhood memories. Seeing friends and family too. It’s been lovely, but I’ve been dying to get back into blogging, it’s become a minor addiction. I have a small blacklog of posts, so, starting with this hearty and dead easy warm salad, I am going to try and play catch up…
The inspiration behind this dish comes from two different places. Gwyneth Paltrow provided the recipe for the Maple and Dijon roasted vegetables, alas not in person, but via her first fabulous book Notes from My Kitchen Table (which I just love by the way – amazing family cook book). And delicious magazine provided the inspiration for combining roasted vegetables with puy lentils, something I had never considered before. I added the feta and dressed the lentils in my own, more simple way. It really works. Super healthy, super simple, just how I like it. Just a note that if you are using the maple and dijon glaze I would stick to the carrots, sweet pots and parsnips as I just don’t think other veggies (like the ones in the delicious recipe) would suit this sweet and sticky treatment.
The kids both really enjoyed it. The Toddler loved the sweet ‘chips’, and as far as he’s concerned lentils are a bit like beans. I’m discovering that pulses are actually quite an easy thing to get kids to eat, they seem to dig their natural protein-y quality, in the same way that they love meat and fish. Think about it – most kids love houmous and baked beans, don’t they? And the 8 month old wolfed it down too in whizzed up form (it purees really nicely). Don’t worry about the Dijon being too hot a flavour – I did think it might be too intense for them, but the roasting mellows the intensity so it’s just not a problem.
This way of roasting sweet roots has become a family fave. I made them again recently, using just heritage ‘rainbow’ carrots and sweet potatoes on that occasion, to go alongside my lamb tagine with chick peas and apricots (you can see them in the top right of the updated photo). Watch your temperature when roasting as the syrup can burn easily. We have an oven thermometer (highly recommend by the way) as our oven is about 20C hotter than it says it is! And with such a high heat as this anyway, you don’t want to get it wrong. We had our oven on 200C, but the recipe dictates 220C.
To make more than enough for 4 for dinner:
300g puy lentils
2/3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon of sherry vinegar (or a nice wine vinegar would work)
Flat leaf parsley
Squeeze of lemon
Salt and pepper
2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunky chips
4 parsnips, cut into same size chunky chips
4 carrots, again cut into chunky chips
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
3 tablespoons of dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
About 100g feta cheese, crumbled over top at last minute
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
- Preheat oven to 220C. Toss your vegetables in the syrup, mustard, oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast, turning over several times to cover all sides in the sticky sauce.
- They’re ready when brown and starting to crisp, should take about 25-35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook your lentils in double the quantity of cold water, bringing them to the boil, then simmering, covered. Time wise, cook them according to packet instructions. They all differ. Mine took about 30 minutes. The important thing is that you stop cooking them when they are soft but still al dente. Taste to see.
- When cooked and drained. Glug your oil over, squeeze your lemon, season and taste. You may need more oil, or lemon. Adjust to your taste. Chop your fresh parsley, set a little aside for serving, and scatter over then toss and taste again.
- Assemble your roasted veg over your lentils and crumble cheese over. Scatter remaining parsley and drizzle oil over. Eat!