Roasted carrot salad with lentils, feta and mint

This is so quick and easy to prepare – roasting the carrots gives them a fantastic sweet flavour.  The lentils and spices add depth and the feta and mint make the whole thing fresh and really delicious.

 

1kg carrots

lentils x 1 can (green or brown, drained)

small bunch of fresh mint, shredded

feta – one standard pack, crumbled

1/2 tsp each of cumin and coriander seeds, lightly ground

(Opitional – juice of half an orange)

olive oil, Maldon salt and pepper

sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar or lemon juice would also work)

Nigella (black onion) seeds

 

Preheat oven to 200C.

Peel the carrots and chop into chunks approx 1cm square – this is not a precise instruction at all, chunks can be bigger or smaller but just try to ensure they are generally even in size to let them cook at the same rate.

Carrot salad Sep 16

Toss the carrots in a little olive oil, add the cumin and coriander seeds, salt & pepper and squeeze over a little orange juice if you have it (I used the juice of a clementine as that’s all I had left, but you could also just add a couple of tablespoons of water).

Roast for 30-40 minutes or until the carrots are tender (but not soft). Stir every now and then to make sure that nothing burns or sticks – but you might end up with a few lightly caramelized pieces which is fine and will just add to the sweet flavour.

When ready remove from the oven and add to a large bowl along with any juices left from roasting. Add the lentils to the bowl then, while the carrots are still warm, dress with olive oil and sherry vinegar to taste.  The lentils soak up quite a lot of dressing so you can be fairly generous.

When slightly cooled, add the feta and mint and finish with a teaspoon of nigella seeds if you like.  Stir everything together, check for seasoning and serve.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

 

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Pork chops & pak choi with ginger, chilli and soy

pork chopThis dressing/marinade is super-quick and works with meat, prawns, vegetables, tofu – you can make it as spicy as you like and can make it up in advance too.

Dressing ingredients:
3 tbsp soy sauce (I love Kikkoman)
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Fresh ginger – a medium sized chunk, very finely chopped or grated (I use my Microplane)
Red chilli – finely chopped, de-seeded or not as you prefer, 1 or 2 depending on heat

Mix all of the dressing ingredients together and leave for 10 minutes or longer if you like. For this recipe I used the dressing over some steamed tenderstem broccoli and the rest to finish off a stir-fry of pak choi (stems then leaves in at the end) and shallots.  Once cooked, add a couple of tablespoons of the dressing over the broccoli and leave to rest while you finish everything else. The pork was just pan-fried (make sure the fat is rendered and golden and cook the pork to medium if you like it juicy) then sliced with the dressing spooned over.

pork chop 2