Tahini chopped salad with quinoa and beluga lentils

Tahini chopped salad with quinoa and beluga lentils

tah1.jpeg

This post is coming to you from my borrowed desk at my best friend Naomi's house. We both realised some new walls to write from would be good- so I've got a new (temporary) desk south of the Thames. It's great what a change in scenery can do to your work outlook. Yes, there's been a few Jimmy Fallon video sessions, not gonna lie, but it is nice to write from somewhere new!

With working-in-home in mind, this chopped salad is great for making when there's a run of work-from-home days. Leave the dressing separate from the salad in the fridge and it should last for around three days. 

I adapted this recipe from Dolly and Oatmeal... who originally adapted it from an Ottolenghi's Jerusalem, so as with the best recipes, it's done the rounds. I decided to simplify the flavours a little because to me, tahini, lemon juice, mint, pine nuts and tomatoes are already quite competitive! But just add whatever you think would taste best.

tah2.jpeg

Makes enough for 4

Ingredients

Handful of chopped salad leaves

Handful of green beans, cut in half

Handful of heirloom or baby tomatoes (any tomatoes you can find will work fine, I just like the different colours of the more unusual varieties).

Handful of cucumber, chopped

2-3 tbsp dry-toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons chopped mint leaves

Salt and pepper

Paprika to taste

2 cups cooked quinoa  

1 cup cooked beluga or puy lentils  

 

For the dressing: 

1/3 cup tahini paste

1/4 cup water

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 small garlic clove, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

tah3.jpeg

Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl. For the dressing, mix together the tahini, water, lemon juice and garlic in a separate bowl, then season to taste. 

Plate up, sprinkle with a little more paprika, salt and pepper, then pour over the tahini dressing so all the salad components are flavoured with it- it's a strong flavour so you won't need all the dressing in one go, so just grab a fork and tuck in. 

tah4.jpeg

Acorn squash stuffed with beluga lentils

Acorn squash stuffed with beluga lentils

image (24).jpeg

Acorn squash is a fickle little blighter. It's all cheery and last-days-of-summer vibes, but getting it to hold any type of flavour has proven nigh on impossible. They're like that friend everyone has at some stage- they look gorgeous but can be a bit bland.  

I chose to stuff the squashes for a late summer dinner. I like to cook anything I've stuffed with a bit of extra filling at the sides, so any juices mix in together and there's always tasty extra bit of stuffing.  

image (25).jpeg

Makes enough for two

Ingredients

Olive oil

2 white onions, chopped small

250g of ready-to-eat beluga lentils. I use the Merchant Gourmet brand as a treat, as they're super easy to prepare, but green lentils cooked in a vegetable stock would work just as well. 

250g cooked couscous

Seasoning

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Sweat the onions in a large saucepan with a little olive oil, until turning translucent. Add in the beluga lentils and cook until warmed through. Then transfer to a mixing bowl with the couscous and season to taste.

Set aside the filling and then begin to hollow out the softer part of the squash. You can add the centre of the squash into the lentil filling if you like, although it won't add much to the flavour, but just so as none of it goes to waste.

image (26).jpeg

Make sure you leave the lid in tact as this can also be cooked. You'll know when you've hollowed out enough when it becomes difficult to take any more away with a spoon. 

Place the squash in an oven-proof dish and add in the filling, with any extra around it. Bake for around 20 minutes. 

image (27).jpeg