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Posts Tagged ‘Rose Elliott’

“They don’t look too promising….” was Meredith’s verdict on the three fennel bulbs I had lined up on the chopping board.

I admit they looked like someone who’d had an extreme haircut.

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(My guess: Frost had got the tops, so the make-up & hair department prettied them up for market!)

Appearances can be deceptive, as my mother must have cautioned me.

The customary clean-up revealed their core to be firm and useable.

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They served perfectly.

Always on the lookout for “one-dish wonders“,  I found this one in Rose Elliott’s classic The Bean Book.

I treasure both my Rose Elliott books–the other being Not Just a Load of Lentils.

A prolific cookbook author, she has written over sixty books!

The topping here is red lentils and onions cooked down to resemble yellow mashed potatoes:

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A sprinkling of parmesan and wholewheat breadcrumbs finishes off the dish so it browns nicely.

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It worked so well, I plan to try it over seafood to create the classic fish pie that I’ve been missing since I was diagnosed with Type 2.

Oh boy! This opens up a whole new horizons!

I shall go pie-mad experimenting with this!

 

Serves 4

  • 6 oz red lentils–washed clear and drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion–chopped
  • 400 ml stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes (14 fluid ounces or  just under two cups)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1lb fennel bulbs (after removing outer leaves and coring)–chopped into large chunks
  • salt and pepper
  • a tablespoon each of wholewheat breadcrumbs and grated parmesan, mixed–more if you like.
  • juice of half a lemon

Choose a presentable oven proof dish and lightly oil or butter the base.

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.

In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion in the olive oil with the bay leaf until opaque–five minutes or so–stirring occasionally.

Add the drained lentils and stir in the stock.

Cook them, covered, over a gentle heat until they have softened and formed a loose mash.

Let it cool a bit then blitz with a hand-held blender to a smooth consistency like mashed potatoes.

Mix in the lemon juice.

In another saucepan cook the fennel chunks in enough lightly salted water to cover until just tender.

Remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer to the oven-bound serving dish.

Season well with salt and black pepper and turn them over thoroughly.

Spread the lentil mash evenly over the fennel and finish with a sprinkling of the parmesan and breadcrumb mixture.

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Drizzle over some olive oil and place in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes.

It should come out with a lovely sizzling brown top.

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Serve as a main dish or as an accompaniment.

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It was a perfect foil for some left-over red bean chili (another simple wonder from Rose Elliott) the other night.

 

 

 

 

 

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Meredith tells me these are called kidney beans in America and she didn’t like the ones on offer when she was growing up in Chicago.

With any luck, things have changed!

Adapted from Rose Elliott’s The Bean Book this is a simple solution for people who don’t eat meat but like the look of chilileave out the carne!

After experimenting with variations–the addition of cumin powder and even Dijon mustard–I settled for the simpler the better.

Quickly done–and tastes even better the next day.

Don’t forget the lemon!

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1lb/450gms good quality red beans from a jar or tin–drained and rinsed

1 onion–chopped

1 clove of garlic–chopped

2 tblsps olive oil

1 14oz tin of tomatoes–broken up, with all the juice

1 teaspoon chilli/cayenne powder

juice of half a lemon or more to taste

salt and pepper

  • Soften the onions and garlic gently in the oil–stirring often.

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  • Add the chilli powder and the chopped tomatoes with their juice.
  • Mix these well together, blending in the tomatoes.
  • Add the beans and season with salt and pepper.

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  • Bring gently to the simmer and cook, covered, for fifteen minutes.
  • Pour over the lemon juice and mix in.
  • Serve over some basmati brown rice with perhaps a bowl of yogurt sauce with cumin and garlic on the side.

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