So, I have decided to start a food blog, in ernest this time. One of the reasons I have failed in the past, other than lack of time, was lack of interest. To combat this I am attempting a concerted effort and this means (drumroll) Events!
Today, its ‘Waiter, there’s something in my … pulses!’. I love all kinds of pulses, Fragrant Indian Dhal, Chickpea salad redolent with cumin, lemon and herbs, hummous, or garlicky white bean puree, but this time I decided to try something new. I was looking for something versatile, that could be a dip, an accompaniment, a side, or even the main event.
The remainder of a sack of green lentils beckoned me, the last ripe tomatoes of summer and a yearning for chilli became Green Lentil and Anchovy Dip.
The first night we ate it with a fillet of fresh snapper (wonderful fish shops made even better by Easter), the lemony tart fish combined wonderfully with this salty and hot yet creamy lentil dip. Then, two days running I ate it for lunch, spiked with coriander and parmesan, alongside chewy dense potato flatbread. Wonderfully, I didn’t bore of these lentils.
This recipe is really just an idea, an idea that could be extended, loosened with more tomatoes and stock to make a soup, or combined with cooking juices and pureed as an accompaniment to roast lamb, or a steak. The beauty is in the salty full flavour of the anchovies melting into the nutty pulses, enlivened by the spices.
Green Lentil and Anchovy Dip
300g Green lentils, cooked.
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 fresh red chilli
2T cumin seeds
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
200mL chicken stock
olive oil, salt and pepper
Toast cumin seeds in dry pan until fragrant, remove. Cook onions in olive oil until brown. Add toasted cumin seets, chilli and garlic and fry for a few minutes. Add cooked lentils, anchovies, ajvar and chicken stock and simmer until lentils are soft. Add tomatoes and cook until they are soft, stirring often as the mixture should be quite reduced by this stage. Season with salt, pepper and more olive oil.
- Lightly grilled snapper fillets, steamed broccoli and a wedge of lemon, or
- mix with chopped coriander and parmesan or fetta cheese, and serve alongside crackers or homemade potato flatbread.
* I used podravka brand. It isn’t essential for the dish, I was just searching for a reason to open this recent purchase.