Brown lentils and rice with cinnamon and cumin

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Just to keep up with recently acquired superstitions, the first post of the year is a lentil dish. It may sound a bit too healthy, too sensible and maybe even bland, but it is far from it. The few spices it has, make it fragrant, flavourful and delicious… For bonus points, it has something bright red on it, for an extra bit of good luck.

Lebanese rice and lentils (adapted from Bill Granger‘s Easy)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 200g lentils
  • 100g of long grain rice
  • 800 mL vegetable stock
  • 2 tomatoes quartered
  • plain yoghurt mixed with ground cinnamon and cumin
  • vegetable sto
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan until it is pipping hot. Drop in the sliced onions and add salt and pepper. Cook for about 10min, until soft and golden. Add the garlic, the cinnamon and cumin. Cook for another 2min until fragrant.

Add the lentils and the rice. Mix until they are covered with the spices and the onion. Poor in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat. Let it simmer for about 30min until the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.

Serve with the quartered tomatoes and a dollop of yoghurt.


Roasted radicchio with red onion

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The book is called Easy, and indeed cooking cannot get much easier than this. Just chop, sprinkle and put it in the over. Forty-five minutes after you have the perfect dish to go with your roast…  Once again, happy mobile calorie intake units friends going for seconds (and thirds).

Roasted radicchio with red onion  (adapted from Bill Granger‘s Easy)

Ingredients

  • 4 radicchio heads, quartered lengthways
  • 3 red onions cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons of soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 dried chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

Put the radicchio and onions in a baking dish and sprinkle with the sugar and chili flakes

Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Place in the oven and cook for 35-45min, until golden and caramelised.

Serve warm.


Chocolate chunk meringue cake

meringue chocolate pistachio

Believe it or not, this was a last minute dessert. It looks spectacular, it tastes scrumptious and is a fool proof recipe. Home cooking doesn’t get much better than this…

Chocolate chunk meringue cake (adapted from Bill Granger‘s Easy)

Ingredients 

  • 6 egg whites
  • 220g golden caster sugar
  • 200g dark chocolate roughly chopped
  • 100g pistachio nuts,roughly chopped plus extra to decorate
  • 3oo mL double cream (or whipped cream)

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 160C.

In a sheet large enough to cover a baking tray draw a circle with 26cm diameter

Turn the paper around and put it on the tray

Whist the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar, one spoon of a time, whisking between every addition until all the sugar is well incorporated.

Fold in the chocolate and the sugar.

Transfer to the baking tray and spread  out, keeping the mixture roughly inside the circle.

Put in the oven for about 1h or until cooked through.

Beat the cream to soft peaks, spread over the meringue  once it is evenly cool. Scatter with extra pistachios.