TURKISH PUY LENTILS WITH GOAT'S CHEESE
Lentils just work in a slow cooker – it’s a method of cooking that suits them perfectly, allowing them to soften low ‘n’ slow. Don’t add the stock until towards the end of the cooking time as the salt toughens the lentils, as it does all dried pulses. Many large supermarkets and Italian delis stock porcini stock cubes, but if you have difficulty finding them vegetable stock or bouillon powder is equally good. For their size, lentils are nutritionally impressive, providing plenty of cholesterol-lowering fibre along with valuable minerals, such as iron, zinc, potassium and copper, folate and many B vitamins.
Low: 7–8 hours
High: 4–5 hours
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp olive oil plus extra for drizzling
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, quartered lengthways and cut into small bite-sized pieces
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium-sized red chilli/chili, deseeded and diced
125 g/41/2 oz./2/3 cup puy lentils, rinsed
2 tbsp tomato purée/paste
1 tsp brown rice syrup or raw honey
1 porcini stock cube, or 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder dissolved into 3 tbsp hot water
squeeze of lemon juice
1 large handful chopped parsley
100 g/31/2 oz. rindless goat’s cheese, crumbled, or smoked tofu, cut into small cubes
sea salt and cracked black pepper
Grind the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar then set aside. Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet, add the onion and fry for 8 minutes until softened. Add the carrots, garlic, ground coriander seeds and chilli/chili, then cook for another minute.
Tip the onion mixture into the slow cooker pot and stir in the lentils, tomato purée/paste, brown rice syrup or honey and 400 ml/14 fl oz./1½ cups hot water. Cover and cook on low for 7–8 hours, or high for 4–5 hours, until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
Stir in the stock or bouillon powder and add to the pot with a good squeeze of lemon juice as well as a splash more water, if needed – the lentils shouldn’t appear too dry. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the lentil mixture onto a serving plate, drizzle with extra olive oil and scatter over the parsley and goat’s cheese or smoked tofu.
Ryland Peters & Small 2017