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Crushed Puy Lentils
Whichever colour you go for, lentils love to absorb other flavours: dress them while they're still warm, so they really take on
any sharpness or spice that's been added.
Unlike many other legumes, lentils don't need soaking, but do give them a rinse before cooking, to remove any starchy dust.
If you cook them in too much liquid (water or stock), their nutrients will leach out, so, unlike pasta, which likes a nice rolling boil, use just enough to be soaked up.
Crushed puy lentils with tahini and cumin
This sustaining meal-on-a-plate is a little bit like hummus, though much easier and quicker to prepare.
With warm flatbread, I could eat this every day. Serves two as a main, or four as a starter.
200g puy lentils
30g unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
3 medium tomatoes, skinned and cut into 1cm dice
25g coriander leaves, chopped
4 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and black pepper
0.5 small red onion, peeled and sliced very thin
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
Bring a medium pan of water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook for 15-20 minutes, until completely cooked, drain and set aside.
Put the butter and oil in a large sauté pan and place on a medium-high heat.
Once the butter melts, add the garlic and cumin, and cook for a minute.
Add the tomatoes, 20g of coriander and the cooked lentils.
Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, then add the tahini, lemon juice, 70ml of water, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper.
Turn down the heat to medium and cook gently, stirring, for a few minutes more, until hot and thickened.
Roughly mash the lentils with a potato masher, so that some are broken up and you get a thick, porridge consistency.
Spread out the lentils on a flat platter, run a fork through to make a wavy pattern on top, and scatter on the sliced onion,
the remaining coriander and a final drizzle of olive oil.
Serve warm with the hard-boiled eggs alongside.