Six ways with lentils: from vegetarian ragout to fast dal | Australian lifestyle

IIn the wild Abruzzo region of Italy, a rare lentil variety grows on steep, narrow slopes of the Gran Sasso Mountains. Irrigated by snowy streams and hand-picked by elderly farmers, the Santo Stefano lentil is so adored that it has its own festival. In France, lentils du Puy, a variety introduced by the Romans about 2,000 years ago and known as “lentil caviar”, have been given the designation of designation of origin of controlled origin (AOC).

Australians are probably more pedantic about lentils, but with inflation and bitter weather, low cost per dish (a pack of supermarket lentils sells for about $ 2 for 375 grams and when cooked give a price of just 18 cents per 200 grams serve) and the pleasantly long lifespan means it has a cost-to-comfort ratio that is hard to beat.

Although most of us know (often uncomfortably) that lentils are high in fiber, it is also a nutritional tour., full of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

They vary in size and color, from deep green to bright orange, if you choose the right lentil for the job, they can play beautifully with almost any flavor and comply with a wide range of cooking methods. See how you can make the most of these cheap surpluses.

Yellow lentils: for warp speed dal

“In India, dal is life,” says Jessi Singh, owner of Melbourne Bombay Yacht Club and his daughter restaurants. Use moong dal – small yellow lentils – and you can have a dish ready in less than 10 minutes, says Singh. “Five if you use a pressure cooker.” Simmer the lentils gently in the stove with onion, ginger, garlic, tomato and beef (or vegetable) broth until soft or put the mixture in a pressure cooker for when time is of the essence.

His advice to a cook with even lower effort and high efficiency: “Fry some cumin seeds in mistletoe and add to the lentils with a pinch of asafoetida” – available in some supermarkets and all Indian groceries from around $ 2.50 per packet. (Although not traditional, mistletoe can be replaced with butter or neutral oils.) The “epic flavor bomb of a spice” tastes like onion and garlic, he says. Finish by seasoning with salt and pepper.

If you plan to eat dahl over rice, Singh suggests adding more broth or water. With the roti, make a thicker dal.

Red or orange lentils: for hearty soups

South Australian lentil farmer Anna Phasey recommends small red lentils – known as “nippers” in Australia – as the best lentils for soup, as they do not need to be soaked and are cooked quickly.

Moroccan lentil and carrot soup by Thomasina Miers. Photo: Yuki Sugiura / The Guardian. Food stylist: Aya Nishimura. Bra Stylist: Louie Waller. Food Assistant: SongSoo Kim

It is the star of the classic Indian British soup sinister; but if time or an empty spice grill is an issue, Yotam Ottolenghi uses a ready-made curry powder in lentil-coconut soup.

While the solid spices of South Asia go so well with lentils, so do the flavors of North Africa. Thomasina Miers uses cumin, cloves, cinnamon and ginger in it Lentil soup with Moroccan spice. Add a squeeze of lemon for “a happy glow”, he writes.

Brown lentils: for serving with meat

While lentils may have been adopted as vegetarian meat mascots, they are often served with the real thing – as they are perfect sponges for meat juices.

Singh likes slow cooked lamb shank. adds Ottolenghi dried apricots in his recipe for a little sweet.

For something that uses meat more as a flavor than most of the meal, Brisbane’s Tony Percuoco Tartufo Restaurant suggests a typical Neapolitan dish “cucina povera”: pasta and lenticche.

“It is a very simple dish, made with a little pancetta, sauteed onion, carrot, celery and leek, brown lentils, a bay leaf, water, three or four crushed overripe tomatoes and a pasta like gnocchetti Sardi or small roasted shells in the same pot at the end. “

Black or puy lentils: for salads

Whether served hot or cold, lentils are also ideal for increasing the protein content of a salad.

“You would use black lentils here,” says Shannon Martinez of Smith and Daughters. “They are very good in the salad because they keep their shape.”

Great for protein: Roasted celery root and lentil salad by Thomasina Miers with mustard dressing and creme fraiche.
Great for protein: Thomasina Miers Roast Celery and Lentil Salad. Photo: Yuki Sugiura / The Guardian. Food styling: Jenny White. Prepositional style: Aya Nishimura. Food Assistant: Toni Musgrave

Martinez likes to cook them with half an onion, a bay leaf and sprigs of thyme for flavor and then add them to roasted zucchini, feta cheese, almonds and mint. “Simply dress with red wine vinegar or olive oil and lemon,” he advises.

For a hearty vegetable winter salad, try it Roast celery, apple and lentil salad by Miers, using chicory and mustard dressing.

Green or brown lentils: as a substitute for minced meat

“Lentils are an awesome and extremely healthy substitute for minced meat in bolognese and ragout sauce,” says Martinez.

“Go for green or coffee for ragout. You have a little texture, but they are not very tight, like black lentils. “

Martinez recommends boiling the lentils first. “Otherwise you will need too much liquid in your ragout to cook them. Boil until well cooked, put your ragout base on the stove top and then put in the partially cooked lentils to absorb the flavor.

Rachel Roddy tagliatelle with lentils and ragu mushroom: a hearty pasta in a pinch.
Rachel Roddy tagliatelle with lentils and mushroom ragout: a hearty pasta in a pinch. Photo: Rachel Roddy / The Guardian

adds Rachel Roddy earthy mushrooms in her ragoutserving it over tagliatelle.

The flexible lentil mince can be used as a base in many other kitchens and applications – from shepherd’s pie to chili, stuffed peppers or croquettes. Sakia Sidey, AKA the Broke Vegan, collects the “minced meat” of the lentils with the grated stalks of broccoli and cauliflower, adding spices and a hot sauce and serving it in a casserole with coriander sauce, pickled red onion, jalapeños and lime.

Any lentils: as a basic product for the preparation of the meal

Phasey’s advice is to cook a batch of lentils in water or broth at the beginning of the week, then rinse them, drain them and keep them in a container in the fridge to put on the dishes all week. such as its stew with lentils, beef and red beer the Lentils with Moroccan spices are served on a sweet potato.

A parting tip from Percuoco when cooking lentils: never add salt to the end. The sooner the lentils will end up hard.

Six ways with lentils: from vegetarian ragout to fast dal | Australian lifestyle

Source link Six ways with lentils: from vegetarian ragout to fast dal | Australian lifestyle

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