We arrived back on the island and found one food store open on the way to the villa. I stocked up on tomatoes – always in Greece, lol – carrots, lemons, white onion, celery, garlic and of course the ubiquitous spinach. Where would the Greeks be without their delicious spinach pies!?
Later that night, foraging in our kitchen cupboards, there was the usual store of spices, a jar of tahini and a packet of dried lentils.
So here’s the creation that evolved – luckily it was delicious. And after stocking up in Argostoli the next morning, I added chopped coriander to the leftovers!
(The curry leaves you may spy in the photo were in my larder, but we couldn’t taste them. They’ve been edited out
Lentils are generally easier to handle than other pulses but they still contain those hard-to-digest oligosaccharides so I always suggest soaking them overnight.
Ingredients (for 4 peeps)
3 tbsp olive oil
large white onion, chopped
3 carrots, diced
3 celery sticks, diced
3 generous handfuls spinach, shredded
4 garlic cloves, pressed or grated or sliced, whatever you like to do with garlic
15 small red tomatoes, halved
400g lentils We happened to have the conventional brown ones that soaked up a lot of the broth; you could use puy lentils and make this a soup!
1.5 – 2 litres vegetable broth. Start with less then add if necessary; depends on the lentils used as to how much liquid they absorb.
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sumach (optional)
… plus chilli flakes, sea salt and pepper to taste
And fresh coriander, chopped, as a topping
2 tbsp tahini
juice of 1 lemon
Approx 4 tbsp water, depending on how juicy your lemon
ground pepper and sea salt to taste
Add the chopped onion to a pan of olive oil and cook until soft. Add the diced carrots, celery, shredded spinach and stir to coat them.
Then add the spices, garlic, tomatoes and your vegetable broth.
Cook covered for about 10 minutes, then uncovered for about 10-15mins, depending on the type of lentils; the smaller, the less cooking time needed.
Dollop with the tahini dressing and chopped fresh coriander – and enjoy!