Green lentil and spinach stew
Prep 10 min Cook 35 min Serves 6
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
1 leek, sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 litre vegetable stock 250g dried green lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp baharat (Lebanese seven-spice seasoning) 300g baby spinach leaves, washed
Juice of 1 lemon Salt and black pepper Labneh, to serve (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions, carrots, leek, and celery, and cook until soft, but not browned. Next, add the garlic and cook for one minute.
Add the cubed potatoes, then pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Add the green lentils and bay leaf, and simmer until the potatoes and lentils are tender.
Remove the bay leaf, then add the spices and season well with salt and pepper. Add the spinach and cook until wilted – which will take only a few minutes. Finally, add the lemon juice and stir gently to combine. Serve hot, drizzled generously with olive oil and with a spoon of labneh, if desired.
From the Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook, by Salma Hage (Phaidon)
Prep 10 min Cook 3 hr 15 min Serves 8–10
For the pork ribs
2 tbsp sunflower oil 1kg pork ribs
500g potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
50ml apple juice or wine 1 bay leaf
Salt and black pepper Sour gherkins, to serve
For the dumplings 250g kefir (yeast starter) or plain yoghurt ½ tbsp sunflower oil ½ tbsp white wine vinegar
½ tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
350g plain flour, extra for dusting plus 1 even tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsp sunflower oil
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based casserole. Season the ribs and brown over a high heat in batches. Set aside with any juices.
Add the potatoes to the pan and brown well all over. Add the onion, lower the heat and sweat until soft. Add the juice or wine, and deglaze. Put the meat and juices back in the pan and add enough water to cover. Add the bay leaf, season, and cook over a low heat for two hours, or until the meat falls off the bones.
Meanwhile, make the dumpling dough. Put the kefir or yoghurt, oil, vinegar, sugar and salt in a large bowl, and mix with a fork. Mix the flour with the bicarb, then sift into the kefir mixture and mix to a soft, pillowy dough. Knead in more flour if too sticky. Divide the dough into four.
Roll out each piece on a floured surface into a 2mm rectangle. Add a tablespoon of oil, rub all over with your hand, roll into thick sausages and cut into 5cm discs.
Turn up the heat under the stew. Put the dumplings in and cover, securing with a wet tea towel if steam escapes. Cook on high for 15 minutes, then lower and cook for another 30. Serve with sour gherkins. From Mamushka by Olia Hercules (Octopus)