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Winter Wonders: Celeriac with Truffled Lentils & Roasted Hazelnuts

This was an 'I-can't-be-bothered-to-go-to-the-shop' riff on Ottolenghi's 'Celeriac and Lentils with Hazelnuts and Mint' and I think works as a brilliant alternative. I didn't have hazelnut oil, so I used truffle oil instead and it was delicious.


What's also wonderful is that aside from the Celeriac and maybe the fresh herbs, most of the ingredients you probably already have in the cupboard. (Come on, don't tell me truffle oil isn't a staple in your cupboard?!) I've also used dried herbs for this and it works just as well. Nutritious, plant-based, high-protein, low-card, seasonal, easy and yet gourmet tasting - the holy grail I'd say?


Ottolenghi says it serves 4 and recommends serving it 'warm, with a radish, cucumber and dill salad dressed with soured cream and olive oil.' I just eat it straight up, so I think it serves 2-3.


It's great cold the following day for lunch too with extra roasted hazelnuts on top.


INGREDIENTS


The original ingredients and the alternatives in CAPITALS


60g whole Hazelnuts

200g Puy Lentils (also known as GREEN LENTILS, or use BLACK LENTILS)

700ml Water

2 Bay Leaves

4 Thyme Sprigs or pinch of DRIED THYME

1 Small Celeriac (650g) peeled and cut into 1cm chips

4tbsp Olive Oil

3 Tbsp Hazelnut Oil - OR A MIX OF OLIVE + TRUFFLE OIL

3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

4 Tbsp chopped Mint or replace with PARSLEY

Salt and black pepper


METHOD:


Preheat oven to 140 degrees C. Scatter hazelnuts (skin on is fine) on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 15 minutes, let them cool then roughly chop.


Combine lentils, water, bay leaves and thyme in saucepan. Bring to boil then simmer for 15-20 mins or until al dente. Drain in a sieve.


Meanwhile, in separate saucepan cook the celeriac in plenty of boiling, salted water for 8-12 minutes or until just tender, don't overcook. Drain.


In large bowl, mix the hot lentils (if they have cooled down they won't absorb the flavours in the same way) with the red wine vinegar, some pepper and plenty of salt, plus 4 Tbsp of oil and 2 Tbsp of either truffle or hazelnut oil depending on what you are using. To be honest I think you could also reduce the overall amount of oil if you want to!


Add celeriac and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.


To serve straight away, stir in half the mint and half the hazelnuts. Once plated up, drizzle the remaining hazelnut oil on to and garnish with the rest of the mint and hazelnuts.


To serve cold, wait for lentils to cool down before finally adjusting the seasoning and possibly adding some more vinegar. Add the hazelnut oil, mint and roasted hazlenuts to serve.




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