Green lentil and spinach stew

The Guardian - Feast - - News -

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)

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