When the days are as warm as they’ve been of late, here in Dorset, I really don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. Not only is it the hottest room in our house, but also no one seems to have much of an appetite for cooked or heavy meals.
This lentil dish is quick and easy. For some extra colour – and phytonutrients – I added butternut cubes and carrot to the final dish as I already had the oven on to roast the cauliflower. A mixed salad would work too!
1 head white cauliflower
200g green lentils (soaked overnight; discard the water & rinse the lentils before cooking)
Coconut oil or olive oil for frying the spices and for the cauliflower
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds – fennel fronds (if you like that aniseed taste)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Sea salt and black pepper
2 red onions, sliced
Grated zest of 1 organic orange
2 tbsp juice from the above orange
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
A generous handful chopped mint
A less generous handful chopped parsley
Line a baking tray with parchment and heat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade. Cut the head of cauliflower into slices and toss them in melted coconut or olive oil; add a pinch or two of sea salt and lay the slices next to each other in the baking tray.
Roast for about 20 minutes until they brown on the edges – but are not too soft. If you’re roasting some root vegetables to go with the dish, make sure you add the cubed butternut or sweet potato at the same time.
Rinse and drain the lentils and cover with water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer until tender – about 20 minutes. Shortly beforehand add some sea salt (don’t be tempted to add it from the start as the lentils won’t cook properly).
Heat some oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, fennel seeds and black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes, then add the sliced onions and stir until lightly caramelized – 15-20 minutes. Finally, add the cooked lentils.
Whisk together olive oil, the orange and lemon juices and zest. Add the chopped parsely and some pepper and sea salt to taste. Pour over the lentils and add the roasted cauliflower to the dish. Sprinle with the chopped mint – or I used fennel fronds from the garden – and serve warm or at room temperature. Bon appetit!lENTIL