Lentils…oh lentils… how I love lentils….
Today I was working from home, kids are still on holiday and the demands for a nice lunch were echoing high from all over the house.
Yes, of course, kiddos were hungry after a whole hour and a half of maths and science workings 😂 and almost an hour of trampolining. They were trully starving and asked for a hearty meal.
What else can you do when you get two munchies that are super hungry and not only ask for food but nice food as well…, well, you have to conform yourself and take the instructions up your chest and of course start all the thinking for that nice and hearty meal straight away.
I did not only have to deliver, but deliver rather fast! :-))
We are all such lentil funs, and we really love egg and all the rest so I’ve quickly come up with this dish which I wasn’t very sure how I was going to finish it off as if it’s not well seasoned could fall into the category of bland, banal food which I could not really afford to allow it to happen 😜
This dish in the end was nowhere near that bland food category and you will soon see this, how and why.
The nutty taste of the lentil with the creaminess and awesomeness of the soft pan cooked egg it’s a wonderful combo not to mention about the fresh peppery salad mix which was quite a mix and gave the dish such a powerful stand out taste as well as looks 👌.
I personally love colourful food and try to always combine as many colours that the rainbow has as possible in one plate if possible 🌈.
I could have probably done a little better here with adding some red bell peppers but the little munchies couldn’t wait any longer so I had to be pretty quick 😂
In the end, I was quite pleased for not complicating it. Its simplicity was awesome as you could taste all the ingredients individually which really blended together beautifully.
It did come out a real treat that not only us but the kids hugely enjoyed and ate all to the very last lentil grain.
I have to say this came out such a great dish in the end packed with protein yet, no meat involved making it such a great vegetarian option. It is also gluten and wheat free. It is one of those dishes that can never really go wrong unless left unseasoned.
Also the mixed leaves salad, I have used was a wasabi rocket, mustard, rocket, bull’s blood and watercress mix which is one of my absolute favourite mix ever in terms of a leaf salad. It is punchy and trully powerful, spicy and crisp. For me it is exactly what a vibrant salad should be. In combination with the lentils is exactly what life is all about.
Here it comes the recipe of this very pleasing dish 😉
Brown and green lentils with portobello mushrooms, wasabi rocket and watercress hearty salad
- 300 g portobello mushrooms
- 150 g green lentils
- 75 g brown lentils
- 1 red onion shredded
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pinch of red chilli fakes
- 3 beef tomatoes cut into chunks
- 1 tbsp Indonesian sweet soya sauce
- 80 ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp sweet sticky balsamic to drizzle over
- 4-5 springs parsley or coriander roughly chopped to garnish
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 150 g mixed leaves salad see Recipe Notes for details
Start by rinsing the lentils (mix them) and put them in a cooking pot. Add the right amount of water. Cook them for about 20-25 min or whatever the packet instructions say. (See Recipe Notes)
Meanwhile wash the salad. Wash the mushrooms and cut them lengthways into slices. Shred the onion as well.
Place a pan on high heat and add the sliced mushrooms. Allow them to start sizzling and add just a tiny little drizzle of sesame oil 1/2 tbsp. They will soon release some water. Cook uncovered for 4-5 min tossing occasionally.
Add the shredded onion and cook for a further 2 min tossing occasionally. Remove any water (if any) before adding the onions and drizzle a little extra sesame oil to try and caramelise the onions and mushrooms. Just before turning the heat off drizzle the soya sauce in and cook for one more minute.
Lentils should be almost ready by now so when ready, turn heat off, remove the lid, remove any leftover water, allow to cool for a few minutes and add the balsamic vinegar. Simply pour over the lentils and mix.
Cook the eggs in a pan with a little drizzle of sesame or olive oil.
Take a serving plate or dish out and get the salad put together by mixing the mushrooms with the lentils. In go the salad leaves. Give those a good shuffle. Top your salad with the soft cooked eggs and a drizzle of the sweet sticky balsamic and here you have it. Lovely stuff.
Mushrooms, in general, can release quite a bit of water when they are cooked.
If you happen to have one of those salad spinners you could use to spin the mushrooms once sliced to take all the excess water out.
Don't worry if you don't have one just let them dry for a few minutes.
Also one secret when cooking the mushrooms is that that they don’t release a lot of water is to cook them on a higher heat (uncovered) and not to add the salt until towards the end of the cooking.
Cooked in smaller batches it can also help. If you're having quite a bit of water in the pan when cooking the mushrooms, simply drain this into the lentils while cooking.
It will just give the lentils a little extra flavour which is quite nice.
For cooking the lentils I normally measure these with a measure which can be a cup or a little bowl and then use the same cup or bowl to measure the water.
Each amount of lentils will need the same amount of water plus another 1/2. For example for 1 bowl full with lentils will be the same bowl full with water plus another half.
Pretty straight forward, right?! If you don’t have or like the rocket salad you could easily use some kale, pak choi that you could add to the mushrooms in the last 3-4 min of cooking or could cook separately and just added to the dish.
We had this with some really ripen, juicy and incredibly flavoured 'ugly' tomatoes from the garden that expressed their beauty through their sublime taste.
If you don’t have any balsamic or don't like it, simply use generously freshly squeezed lemon juice.