Two ways with lentils

Last Tuesday Mr T decided he would like to cook something so I am ushered out of the kitchen to watch Masterchef next door. We know from experience that the control freak in me can’t resist the urge to offer ‘suggestions’ and ‘advice’ from the sidelines, so it’s really best not to spectate. All I know is it’s going to involve lentils and sausages and he’s got my Jamie’s Italy propped open on the book stand. It’s so unlike Mr T to cook from a recipe that I’m intrigued! I think it’s got something to do with the fact that we’ve had bags of lentils hanging around in the fridge (owing to our weevil curse) for well over a year and Mr T is sick of the sight of them…

A short while later it’s ready – we’ve each got a bowl of tender red lentils tossed in a little olive oil and red wine vinegar, studded with fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley. On top is piled fat, diagonal slices of really good quality sausage – one chorizo, one boerewurst (not strictly what the Italian recipe calls for but what of that). On the side is a beautiful hot, sweet-sour, cinnamon-scented tomato ‘salsa’ to spoon over the top. And for ‘contorni’ we’ve got vibrant green brocoli branches dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. It’s such a wonderfully robust combination of flavours and rustic textures, a perfect peasant feast for a cold night. And I fill my boots – rather too much!

Sausages and lentils with tomato salsa

Sausages and lentils with tomato salsa, chez Mr & Mrs T

Two days later we’ve got a container of left-over cooked lentils in the fridge. I consult the bible, our Stephanie Alexander tome, on what goes with lentils and combine them with roasted pumpkin and red onion wedges sprinkled with cumin seeds, chopped fresh tomatoes, baby spinach leaves, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. To make this a meal Mr T buys a whole roast chook from Oporto on the way home. And as a cheeky starter we have devils on horseback à la Mr T – prunes wrapped in bacon, grilled and served on a skewer!

Roast pumpkin and lentil salad

Roast pumpkin and lentil salad, chez Mr & Mrs T

Devils on horseback a la Mr T

Devils on horseback à la Mr T, chez Mr & Mrs T

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