Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lentil and pumpkin salad

Hello everyone, I was at a friend's fortieth on Friday night and they hired my friend Anna who is a caterer to do the food. It was gorgeous! She did such a great job, it was all home cooked food presented beautifully. We started with a heap of finger food while everyone was standing around having a drink. There were all sorts of choices, and I am still tossing up as favourite the huge, lovely and sweet peeled prawns, or the Moroccan lamb mince triangles. Then there was a buffet for the main course that included all sorts of salads, meat and vegetable dishes. Then to top it off, Anna baked a really moist, fudgy chocolate cake (decorated with forty candles) and served it with creamy raspberry icecream. It was all so good and I was so happy that everyone loved the food. Definitely my caterer of choice!

Last night I cooked this lovely salad to go with my dinner and thankfully had the foresight (and so much pumpkin) to make enough for Monday's lunch as well. It comes from my Marie Claire Comfort cook book from which I have made quite a few good things. I hope you like it too, it's a great one for winter.

Have a happy week. Love from Jane xx

Lentil and pumpkin salad

Serves four or six as a side dish

What you need:
  • 1 kg jap or kent pumpkin, peeled and chopped into quite small pieces so they roast up all nice and crispy
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 120g puy lentils or tiny blue lentils (I don't think you can easily find puy lentils any more, but I found some Australian blue lentils at my local health food store)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspooon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped roughly
  • 50g wild rocket leaves
  • 100g goats cheese

What you do
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place the pumpkin pieces into a baking tray, scatter with the sliced onion and toss with the light olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the pumpkin is looking crispy.
  4. Meanwhile, place the lentils in a saucepan with the half teaspoon of salt and 2 cups of water.
  5. Bring the lentils to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Keep an eye on them and top up the water if needed.
  6. When cooked, drain the lentils of any excess water, then stir in the mustard, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and parsley.
  7. When you are ready to serve, arrange the rocket on a serving plate, top with the pumpkin and onion, then spoon over the lentils.
  8. Crumble the goats cheese over the top and serve.