Perfect lentils with goat’s cheese

‘Simple but delicious recipes such as this are essential for your repertoire if you want to cook spontaneously and easily. I’d happily give this warm, satisfying salad to friends as a starter or supper dish with a crisp chicory salad. Equally, I would gladly feed it to my family for a fast mid-week supper, knowing they’ll all love it. If you crave meat, serve it with some crispy streaky bacon crumbled on top or studded with a little fried chorizo. You could also have it as a vegetable with grilled chicken. Whichever way you choose, you’ll be in for a treat’

Thomasina Miers

Pardina lentils with soft goat’s cheese and sherry vinegar

Extract from José Pizarro’s

Spanish Flavours
Published by Kyle Books

Pardina lentils, from Castile y Leon, are brown lentils that don’t lose their skin or their bite. Use puy lentils as an alternative.

Serves 4

Ingredients

350g pardina lentils
6 garlic cloves, 3 finely
chopped and 3 left whole
3 fresh bay leaves
6tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
1½tsp caster sugar
125g sun-dried tomatoes in
oil, drained and chopped
12 spring onions, trimmed
and thinly sliced
3tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2tbsp sweet Pedro Ximénez or balsamic sherry vinegar,
plus extra to serve
150g-200g soft rindless
goat’s cheese, sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper

Method

Put the lentils, the 3 whole garlic cloves and bay leaves into a pan and cover by 5cm with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook for another 10 minutes until just tender but still a little al punto-with a little bite. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Remove and discard the garlic cloves and bay leaves.

Heat half the olive oil in a deep frying pan, add the onions and sugar and fry gently for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add the chopped garlic and fry for a further 1-2 minutes. Stir in the warm cooked lentils and 150ml of the cooking liquid, the sun-dried tomatoes, spring onions, parsley, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Bring back to a gentle simmer.

Spoon the lentils into shallow bowls and crumble the goat’s cheese slices on top. Drizzle over a little more olive oil and Pedro Ximénez sherry vinegar and serve.

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