It’s spring! Finally! We have blue skies and sunshine for what seems like the first time in a very long time! The winter just past was so cold and long… and cold. So we are revelling in the change of season, and looking forward to enjoying the outdoors once again. I have ventured into the garden, and found it covered in weeds, and a vegetable plot full to overflowing with coriander plants. We have watered them, but before they go to seed, I wanted to share this recipe with you.
Before Alex and I got married, I had lived for several years in various houses with various house-mates. Some of those have become my closest friends, others my sworn enemies (ha, ha!). The best share house by far was the first, the one where we made dinner for each other and sat down to eat together at least three times each week. It may not seem like a huge thing, but it knit us together … No other share house I’ve been in has had that dynamic, nor the long-lasting friendships.
Of course, in sharing a house we shared the chores, the bills, laughter, tears, our lives with each other. In sharing meals we also shared recipes. This is one that I grabbed then and have been making on and off ever since. And every time I make it, I get people requesting the recipe. Because it’s classy. It has a distinctive mix of ingredients that just works. It’s simple. It’s fresh. It’s vegetarian. And best of all, it can be served at room temperature. Don’t you just love an unfussy dish?
Warm lentil and coriander salad
Gear up for summer with this wonderfully fragrant lentil salad, flavoured with cumin, lemon juice, and heaps of fresh coriander!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, halved, sliced (I leave this out)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh coriander roots
200g (1 cup) red lentils, washed, drained
60mL (¼ cup) fresh lemon juice
440mL (1 ¾ cups) vegetable stock (Massel brand is gluten-free)
40g (¼ cup) currants
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander stems and leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Warmed naan bread, to serve (optional)
Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, cumin seeds and coriander roots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the lentils and stir until well coated in the spices.
Add the lemon juice and cook over medium heat until it evaporates. Add ½ the stock and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the mixture is dry.
Add the remaining stock and the currants and simmer, uncovered, for a further 5-6 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a clean tea towel and then a lid. Set aside for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and coriander stems and leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Stir with a fork to distribute evenly. Serve with warm naan bread.
Serve this salad as a light meal or accompaniment. To warm the naan bread, wrap 4 breads in foil and heat in an oven preheated to 160degC for 10-15 minutes while the lentils are cooking. You will need about ½ large bunch of coriander for this recipe.
Adapted from Taste.com.au