Celeriac and lentils with hazelnut and mint
SERVES 4-6 PREP AND COOK TIME 35 MINUTES
I first saw Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for this and took the concept of it and changed it to suit our ingredients; I love that he set me on this path.
¾ cup (100g) whole hazelnuts, skin on
½ cup (100g) Australian French-style lentils
1 litre (4 cups) water
2 fresh bay leaves, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 medium (750g) celeriac, peeled, roughly diced into 1cm pieces
2 tablespoons verjuice
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
1 tablespoon aged red wine vinegar
½ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped coarsely
¼ cup loosely packed fresh mint, chopped coarsely
1 Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
2 Place hazelnuts in a shallow oven tray; roast for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and skins are beginning to split. While nuts are warm, rub in a tea towel to remove the skins. Cool nuts, then chop coarsely.
3 Meanwhile, rinse the lentils in a sieve until water runs clear. Place lentils in a medium saucepan with the measured water, bay leaves and thyme; bring to the boil. Quickly turn down heat to low; simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Test to see if the lentils are cooked, as the age of the lentils changes the cooking time. They need to still hold their shape and have a little bite. Drain lentils. Toss the lentils in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season to taste with sea salt.
4 Cook the celeriac in boiling salted water for about 4 minutes or until just tender. Drain.
5 Combine the remaining olive oil, verjuice, hazelnut oil and vinegar in a small bowl; whisk until combined.
6 Combine the hot lentils in a large bowl with the dressing – if they have cooled down, they won’t soak up all the flavours. Add the celeriac, hazelnuts, parsley and mint; toss well. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and plenty of sea salt. .
Not suitable to freeze or microwave.