Lemongrass and Coconut Tempeh, Coleslaw in Peanut Dressing, and Coconut Brown Rice


I have three new recipes for you today! Jackpot!

When I first saw a block of tempeh sitting next to tofu at an Asian grocer, I was put off by the way it looked. I vaguely see that there were some soybeans in the block, but the whole thing looked slightly rotten to me. (click here if you don’t know what tempeh looks like). I’ve never given a second thought about buying it until I started reading 101cookbooks.com. This wonderful blog was the first food blog that I started reading regularly and still do until this day. Tempeh showed up once in a while in her post and after a casual googling, I realized this block of off-looking soybeans was in fact a delicious food originating from Indonesia, and has spread to the western world as a healthy meat substitute. It’s fermented and therefore easier for your body to digest. It’s also full of vitamin B-6, iron, magnesium, and calcium. So after trying this recipe  from 101cookbooks, I was hooked. It’s meatier than tofu, and really delicious after being marinated and grilled. I know many people frown upon hearing the word “tofu” but this distant cousin, tempeh, my friends, is a whole different business.

After vaguely trying to plan a holiday to south-east Asia, I have created a marinade for tempeh that includes ingredients from there, and the result was absolutely delicious. Lightly coconut-y, spicy, and the addition of lemongrass and lime leaf made me want to teleport myself to the street food stalls in south-east Asia, although I imagine the food there would be a zillion times better than mine. :) I paired the tempeh with coleslaw with peanut dressing that was inspired by the Gado-gado sauce from Indonesia, and coconut brown rice cooked with galangal and lime leaf. If you have never cooked with tempeh, give this a try. I swear you will be hooked like I did.


Lemongrass and Coconut Tempeh

Serves 2

250g tempeh, cut into triangles

1 lemongrass, 5cm from the root, the outer layer peeled, and the soft center part finely minced

1 lime leaf, finely minced

60ml coconut milk from a very well shaken can

1.5 tsp sambal olek or sriracha

1 Tbsp soy sauce

Juice of 1/2 lime

To fry, coconut oil or vegetable oil with high-smoking point.

To serve, a small handful coriander leaves

1. In a medium sized saucepan, bring water to boil. Add the tempeh and steam over medium heat for about 5 mins. This process eliminates the bitterness that might be present in some tempeh, and also it will make the tempeh absorb the marinade faster.

2. In a blender, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Drain the tempeh and transfer them to a large but shallow casserole dish. Pour the marinade over and coat well. Marinate for 1 hour. It can sit in the fridge for a couple more hours if you want to make ahead of time. Flip once or twice.

3. Heat the coconut oil or vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Lay the tempeh slices in one layer and fry for about 4 mins. Flip and wait for 3 minutes. Pour the remaining marinade and reduce to a thick sauce.


Coleslaw with peanut-chili-coconut dressing

Serves 4-6 as a side

1/2 head small green cabbage, finely sliced

1/2 head small purple cabbage, finely sliced

3 spring onions, white and green parts, finely sliced

1 large carrot, julienned

1/2 large kohlrabi, julienned

1 bunch coriander, chopped

A small handful mint leaves, chopped

A handful roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the dressing,

2 Tbsp peanut butter

1.5 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbs coconut milk

1 thumbnail sized ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

2 small cloves garlic

1.5 tsp sambal olek or sriracha

1 lime, juice only

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp palm sugar or raw cane sugar

1. In a large bowl, mix the chopped and sliced vegetables.

2. To make the dressing, add all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Check the seasoning. The dressing at this stage should be a little salty. Not to worry, the vegetables will absorb some of the salt.

3. Toss the dressing and the vegetables thoroughly, preferably with hands.  Leave to rest for 30mins to 1 hour. Scatter the peanuts on the salad before serving.

Coconut Brown Rice with Lime Leaf and Galangal

Serves 2

1 cup short-grain brown rice

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup water

2 lime leaves

A thumb-nail sized galangal or ginger, sliced

1/2 tsp salt

To serve: Lime wedges

1. Wash the brown rice and soak, if possible, for 4-8 hours.

2. In a medium sized sauce pan, bring the rice and the rest of the ingredients to the boil and turn the heat down to low. Steam the rice for 35-45 mins, until tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff the rice with fork.



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Leipziger Wochenmarkt (Farmer’s market in Leipzig)

I started shopping at the open-air farmer’s market every week only 6 years ago. I’ve been there a couple of times before but I thought the market didn’t have stands directly from the local farmers. I wasn’t entirely wrong.  It’s not a pure farmer’s market in a sense, because about 60% of the stands are whole-sale. But I slowly discovered which stands are locally produced, and which stands were local and organic. From spring through early winter, my favorite days of the week are Tuesdays and Fridays when the market is open.  Last Friday, I bought ah-maaazing spring produce and thereby spending way too much money. The market haul includes fresh locally produced radishes, pink baby chard, baby mustard leaves, green asparagus, bunches of chard, portobello mushrooms, and yellow carrots. I also purchased broccoli rabe (cime di rape) from the Italian stand and a bunch of Italian purple sprouting broccoli (!!!) from the new organic stand. I was so excited to see the purple sprouting broccoli, I almost squealed. Anyways, here are photos of the stands I usually buy from. Enjoy!



This stand has directly imported fruit and vegetables from Italy. I usually buy artichokes (above), broccoli rabe, dandelions, and sun-dried tomatoes here. The Italian guy who runs the stand is very friendly. Behind this stand, there is a cheese and charcuterie vendor also from the same guy. Highly recommended!


This stand only sells button mushrooms and portobello mushrooms. Their products are from Thüringen, the neighbouring state next to Sachsen. This is the only stand where I can get large portobello mushrooms. The lady seller here is so jolly, it gets me into a really good mood after stopping by.


This is a newcomer at the market. An all organic stand, with some products from whole sale, and some are from their own farm near Leipzig. Some products can be quite expensive but they have unusual vegetables like purple sprouting broccoli (yes, they are still foreign here). I’ll be on the watch for this stand.


This organic stand from Halle is one of my favorites. All their products are from their farm. In late spring to autumn, they have amazing vegetables. I bought purple, orange, yellow, pink, and white carrots here. Around summer, there are at least 5 different kinds of absolutely delicious tomatoes (which I thought, were impossible to find in Germany). They had yellow beetroots (!) last autumn, after I begged them to grow a year ago. Also, you will find 3-4 different kinds of eggplants, 2-3 kinds of cucumbers, great salad leaves, oh and their pink apples are my favorite apples ever….and the list goes on. A must visit if you are on a look out for tastier and more interesting colored vegetables!


One of my favorites. This is a demeter quality fruit and vegetable stand. Depending on the season, they sell 40-50% of their own produce from a farm in Baalsdorf, near Leipzig. They have delicious spinach, kale, and chard. I also love their tiny broccoli they have around June-July, possibly the best broccoli I’ve ever had. I like the herbs and salad leaves too. The lady seller here knows me well by now and saves me a bundle of coriander when they occasionally have them. :)


Not the friendliest sellers but not too bad. On the bright side, they have  delicious local free-range eggs and egg noodles. I like to poach my eggs with these because they are much fresher than most organic eggs from biomarkt, and the egg yolks are soooo orange. Love them.


Frau Müller, my favorite stand for fresh green and white asparagus!


A local creamery, Mölkerei Bennewitz. They have fantastic hand-made butter, milk, cream, and buttermilk. I’m not so convinced with their cheese though. None-organic.

I hope this overview gave you some ideas about the market.  Go! What are you waiting for?  :) (Marktplatz, Innenstadt. Tuesdays&Fridays 9am-5pm).

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Mango and Raspberry Clafoutis with Coconut


I own many, many cookbooks. I love most of them and have fond memories cooking from the books, not only because the recipes are great but also they remind me of a particular time and space that I was in when I bought them or received them as gifts. The one and only cookbook I brought with me from Australia to Germany was Marie Claire Supper Cookbook by Jody Vassallo. It’s a tiny book with 36 easy and simple but very stylish recipes for suppers during the week. It was given to me by my friend Angelique as a graduation present. I cooked many meals from it in the beginning, although I have to say some ingredients were hard to come by in Germany 10 years ago. Australia is always a step or two ahead in the culinary world, mainly because of their incredible produce and the melting pot of immigrants in the country. And even though I ate my fare shares of cadbury chocolate frogs, frozen meat pies, (oops did I just say that?), greasy lemon chicken and etc, now I think back and I remember most people being genuinely interested in food. When I read these cookbooks from the 90s to early 2000, the recipes in those books I have photographed below, are still in sync with what we would see in food magazines and blogs today. I also own two Vogue Australia Entertaining cookbooks from 10-15 years ago and they are also just gorgeous; full of beautiful photographs and simple yet elegant multi-cultural and fusion recipes. I saw on buzzfeed a month ago, that the food Aussies miss the most is Asian food when they go overseas. I also miss going to the Adelaide Central Market and slurping on a big steaming bowl of spicy Laksa or a comforting bowl of Bibimbap from Sunmi’s. Mmmm…



I guess I have come a long way. I live on more than fried eggs and instant noodles nowadays, Ange! Thanks!! :)

Anyways, enough of nostalgia for today. I have baked a dessert! It was slightly adapted from Table Australia. I just looked up but apparently this magazine hasn’t been printed for many years now. Clafoutis is a very classic french dessert that according to some articles, every housewife can whip up without a recipe. (correct me if I’m wrong!) This version is very unfrench, so I’m not sure if I should call it a “clafoutis” and thereby offend some die-hard french food connoisseurs, but the basic idea here is the same. You have some fruit, whip up a egg-y batter, bake, and eat warm. The addition of coconut milk, raspberries, mango, and lime gives this classic dessert a ring of change. I reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe, swapped mango instead of pear, added some spice, lime, and desiccated coconut. I don’t know about you, but it reminded me a bit of warm Aussie sunshine. Enjoy! xo-A.






Mango and Raspberry Clafoutis with Coconut

Slightly adapted from Table Australia Cakes, Biscuits and Puddings

Note: Make sure your coconut milk is very well shaken. The cream and the water should be well emulsified when you open the can. If not, run it through a blender quickly. And I don’t usually separate the eggs in clafoutis, but chocolate&zucchini’s cherry chestnut flour clafoutis gave me the tip. It turned out fluffier than usual. If you are too lazy, just blend the eggs (both white and yolk) into the batter.

Serves 4-6

1 medium-sized mango, peeled and flesh cut into cubes

250g frozen raspberries (no need to be thawed)

1 Tbsp Muscovado or brown sugar

1/2 Tbsp corn starch

1/4 tsp ground ginger

Juice of 1/2 lime

Zest of 1 lime

2 eggs, separated

70g raw cane sugar

50g all-purpose flour

20g unsweetened, dessicated coconut

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

200ml coconut milk from a very well shaken can

10 shredded mint leaves, to serve.

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Generously grease a 22 cm pie dish or any deep, medium sized oven-proof dish.  with butter.

2. Add the mango cubes and 2/3 of the raspberries in the pie dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar, lime juice, corn starch and ground ginger over the fruits and toss to mix. Set aside for 10 mins.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, coconut milk, flour, vanilla, sugar, desiccated coconut and lime zest until a smooth batter is formed.

4. In clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peak forms. Gently fold into the batter in two batches.

5. Pour the final batter over the fruits. Scatter the remaining raspberries on top of the batter and gently push into the batter.

6. Bake for 25-30 mins until the top is puffed and golden. Leave to rest for about 20 mins. Serve warm with some shredded mint leaves on top.



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Roasted Spring Vegetables with Za’atar


Beautiful spring vegetables have finally arrived at the farmer’s market in Leipzig last friday. I bought my first bundle of green asparagus of this year from Frau Müller’s local vegetable stand, a bunch of crunchy pink radishes from the organic stand from a farm near Halle, and yellow and orange carrots from a new organic stand.  Frau Müller always has beautiful local green asparagus, unlike the other asparagus stands where they only sell the thick white ones. Most germans I know don’t seem to eat the green ones. At the beginning of May when the asparagus season really starts kicking off, I can usually get 3 bundles for 10 Euros from Frau Müller, because she says not many people are interested in them and she needs to get rid of them before she packs up to go home. When I first came to Germany, I had no idea that there were any white asparagus. And boy, do the germans go nuts over them. I have to say, they looked, ehem, strange to me. It was 7 years after I first set my foot in this country did I finally try the white ones. My boyfriend doesn’t cook (I’m not really sure what he ate before he met me?!) but one night after work, he told me to come over and try the white asparagus with potatoes. He just peeled and boil them in salted water, and served with steamed potatoes and butter. It was that simple, but I loved it! Since then I buy both when they come in season. I still prefer the green ones though. Simply because they look so much better on a plate, and they don’t need to be boiled for 20 minutes until soft. I love the crunchiness of somewhat undercooked green spears, or even raw in salads.



In this dish I just created for lunch, green asparagus, radishes, carrots, and cauliflower florets are roasted with za’atar and olive oil. Za’atar is an aromatic middle eastern herb-spice blend I discovered when I went to Israel 6 years ago with my string quartet. I just received a fresh batch from my best friend who traveled to Israel a couple of months ago. They are certainly greener and tastier than the ones I still have from my trip (oops). I served the vegetables with a simple bulgur pilaf and dollops of lemony chive yogurt. You can eat them with just bread, or even flat breads with even more za’atar and olive oil.

Enjoy! xo-A.

Ps. My Saffron and garlic beans with wine-braised leeks made it to The Guardian Cook section last weekend. I’m stoked! :)


Roasted Spring Vegetables with Za’atar, served with Bulgur Pilaf and Lemony Chive Yogurt Sauce

Note: Make sure you season the vegetables well with salt. And do not over-bake them! Leipzigers, you can buy Za’atar at the herb/spice store in the Königshaus Passage. And lastly, vegans can just sprinkle a little more lemon juice on the vegetables before serving instead of the yogurt sauce. Or use vegan yogurt if you like. 

Serves 3-4

For the vegetables,

1 bunch or pink radishes, trimmed and halved

400g green asparagus, sliced at 5 cm interval

6 young carrots, sliced biased, thin-ish

1/2 small head of cauliflower, broken or cut into small florets

6 small shallots, peeled and halved

3 tsp Za’atar, divided

Glugs of olive oil (didn’t measure. sorry!)

About 2.5 tsp salt, divided

1 tsp lemon juice

Bulgur Pilaf,

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 shallot, finely minced

1 tbsp tomato paste

150g medium bulgur

375m water

1 Tbsp chopped mint leaves

1.5 tsp cumin powder

Lemony chive yogurt,

125ml full-fat yogurt or greek yogurt

Zest of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp chives, finely chopped



1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees celsius. In a large bowl, mix the cauliflower florets and shallots with 1 tsp za’atar, 3/4 tsp salt, and a glug of olive oil. Spread them out on a large baking sheet lined with grease-proof paper. Roast for 15 mins.

2. In the same large bowl, mix the rest of the vegetables with 2 tsp za’atar, 1.5-2 tsp salt, pepper, and a large glug of olive oil. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and spread out the vegetables. Roast for another 15 mins until the vegetables are just tender. Stir once or twice in between. Once they are out of the oven, sprinkle them with some lemon juice and combine. Check the seasoning.

3. Meanwhile, make the bulgur pilaf. Heat the olive oil over a medium heat in a medium sized saucepan. Sautee the minced garlic and shallot for 4 mins until soft.

4. Add the tomato paste, stir around for 10 seconds or so. Add the bulgur and toast for 30 seconds. Add the water, bring to boil, and turn the heat down to very low. Simmer for 8-10 mins with the lid on, until the bulgur has become tender and absorbed all the liquid.

5. Take off the lid, and add the mint leaves and cumin. Check the seasoning.

6. To make the yogurt sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Lightly salt the sauce.

7. To serve, scoop out some of the bulgur pilaf, and the vegetables on top. Serve the yogurt sauce on the side, or in dollops over the vegetables.





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Artichokes, fennel, and sweet onions braised in wine


I traveled to Sicily in 2011 around Easter. It was a big family trip with my boyfriend’s brother’s family and the parents. We stayed in Agrigento in the south of the island, in a big house over looking the sea. We visited the ancient greek temples, ate at some great local restaurants, dipped my feet in the sea (only once. It was too cold for me, but the boys didn’t seem to mind. Brrr!), soaked up the sunshine a little too much and ended up having lobster legs.

It was definitely an eye-opening culinary experience. I took my own knife as usual, thinking I would be cooking a couple of times only. But after seeing all the incredible produce at the supermarket, fruit&veg stores and roadside vendors, I cooked many more meals than I intended. It was a quite a challenge to cook for 9 people with limited kitchen space and utensils - thank god I took my knife and Microplane-, but really, it was like being in heaven for me to be able to get my hands on the fresh vegetables and fruits, delicious cheeses and cured meats. The artichokes were in abundance at the time. Whenever I looked, there were artichokes being sold 20 cents each. I even found some at a bakery (?!)


Although you would never find an artichoke for 20 cents unless you are in Italy, the Italian vendor at the farmer’s market in Leipzig has fresh and inexpensive artichokes, sold at 80 cents-1 euro each. I saw them yesterday and couldn’t help myself to buy a few. This dish I created really reminded me of Sicily. The artichoke hearts, fennel wedges, and sweet Calabrian sweet red onions (cipolla rosa) are braised gently in dry vermouth, anchovy, lemon slices, coriander seeds, and Kalamata olives. The melange of these vegetables and wine create a lovely savoury broth that you can mop up with some bread, or even served with couscous if you like. The leftover broth can be used to poach eggs too.

If you don’t know how to trim artichokes, click on the link I provided in the recipe. It’s not hard at all and once you get the hang of it, they can be trimmed in minutes. To choose artichokes, make sure the leaves (or really, they are petals) are tightly closed and the head should be firm. Another trick is to rub the artichoke between your hands. If they make a squeaky sound, then you know the artichoke has been harvested not long ago.

Enjoy! xo-A.

Artichokes, fennel, and sweet onions braised in wine

Note: Vegans, you know the drill; leave out the anchovies and just add a couple more olives. They will give enough depth to the dish. 

Serves 2 generously as a main dish

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 anchovy fillet, finely chopped

1/2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed

3 medium sized globe artichokes, trimmed down to hearts. Halved. (Click here if you don’t know how)

250g sweet red onions (cipolla rosa) or regular red onions, cut into bite-sized wedges

1 fennel (about 200-250g) cut into 1.5cm wedges (save the fonds for garnish)

180ml dry vermouth or white wine

180ml light vegetable stock

1-2 tsp salt

8 Kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped

6 peppercorns, lightly crushed

2 thin slices lemon

4 mint leaves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Fruity olive oil, to serve

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and fry for about 5 minutes until they start to become soft. Add the anchovies and coriander seeds and sautee for 1 minute.

2. Add the artichokes, fennel, and onions. Sautee for about 2 minutes.

3. Add the wine, water or stock, lemon slices, peppercorns, olives and salt. Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to medium-low. With the lid slightly ajar, braise gently for about 25-30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the herbs and fennel fonds, if using. Check for seasoning.

4. Serve the vegetables and a small ladle of braising liquid with a drizzle of fruity olive oil. This is best eaten with some crusty bread on the side.

DSC_4674 DSC_4511

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Saffron and garlic beans with wine-braised leeks


It’s finally raining today. The weather has been mostly gorgeous for the past 2 weeks, but even I wished for some rain after reading that the farmers were suffering from a drought. I invited a friend for lunch today and made this dish for the starter. The bright golden, garlicky beans really bring a contrast to the grey and wet weather. The baby leeks I found at the farmer’s market yesterday were braised in wine and butter until the leeks were left with thick and silky sauce, then they were broiled under the grill for a bit because I like the taste of slightly browned leeks. You can leave the step out if you like but I recommend it.




Ps. My watercress and lentil salad made it to the Guardian Cook section. :) Yay!

Saffron and garlic beans with braised baby leeks

Recipe Note: Go easy on the salt, as Parmasan rind gives enough saltiness to the beans. For vegans, leave out the cheese rind and substitute with 2 tsp of tomato paste instead for the umami flavour. Also, replace butter with olive oil when braising leeks.

Serves 3-4 as a starter or 2 as a main course

For the beans

150g dried white cannellini beans

1/2 medium onion, very finely chopped

1/2 celery, very finely chopped

4 large cloves garlic, very finely chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 sprig rosemary (about 10 cm), leaves finely chopped

1/2 tsp loosely packed tsp saffron strands

20g rind of Parmagiano reggiano (leave out if you are vegan)

1/4 tsp salt

700ml water

2 tsp lemon juice

A few grinds of pepper

For the leeks,

8 baby leeks or very thin leeks, white and light green part only

60ml dry vermouth or white wine

100ml water

20g butter

4 small sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

3/4 tsp salt


To serve,

20g hazelnuts, toasted, skin peeled, and chopped *

Fruity olive oil

1. Soak the beans in plenty of water for at least 8 hours. Rinse and drain.

2. Add the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat. Add the finely chopped onion, celery, and garlic with a pinch of salt. Sautee for 15 minutes until very soft Do not be tempted to increase the heat.

3. Add the saffron and rosemary. Sautee for 3 minutes.

4. Add the beans, water, and the rind of parmagiano reggiano. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and  simmer, with the lid slightly ajar, for 45-90mins or until tender but not falling apart. The cooking time depends on the freshness of your beans, so check after 45 mins.

5. When the beans are almost done, take the lid off and increase the heat to medium-high. Evaporate most of the liquid until there is a thick broth left in the pan.

6. Take the Parmasan rind out. Add the lemon juice to heighten the flavour. Add more salt if needed.

7. For the leeks, Add all the ingredient in a medium sized frying pan. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 10 mins. At this point, preheat the grill in the oven.

8. Take the lid off and boil off almost all the liquid. Transfer the frying pan under the grill and grill for 10 mins, or until the leeks start to turn golden. Do not burn the leeks.

9. To serve, place some beans on a plate and leeks on top. Sprinkle the hazelnuts and drizzle with olive oil.

*To toast the hazelnuts; place the nuts in a frying pan over medium heat. Toast for 10 mins or so, occasionally shaking the pan. Immediately remove from heat and place them in a clean dishtowel. Enclose them and rub them vigorously against each other until the skins come off.



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Watercress and Lentil Salad with Citrus Dressing


Hi guys! The sun is shining, there are no clouds to be seen, and it’s 18 degrees today! I’m making this a quick post so I can go out and soak up some sun and walk around in my ballerinas.

This substantial salad I just made for lunch can be served either on its own or as a starter. Watercress is rich in in vitamin C, K, and other nutrients, and its peppery taste makes a great food to awaken our sleepy bodies from winter and revive the taste buds. The citrus dressing gives zesty and sweet contrast to watercress and lentils. Go! Make this salad! xo-A.

Watercress and Lentil Salad with Citrus Dressing

*Note: If you live in an area where watercress is hard to come by, then substitute with rocket or other peppery leaves. For Leipzigers, I know it’s virtually impossible to get watercress here, but I finally found some at Macis Bioladen in the refrigerated section. Pricey, yes, but definitely worth it!

Slightly adapted from Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry

Serves 2 hungry people as a main dish, or 4 as a starter

For the lentils,

1 cup beluga lentils, rinsed

2 1/2 cups water

3/4 tsp salt

For the dressing,

Juice of 1 pink grapefruit (about 120ml)

Juice of 1/2 orange (about 60ml)

Zest of 1/2 orange

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp maple syrup or honey

1/2 clove garlic, germ removed

80ml fruity olive oil

1 tsp salt

60g watercress

4-5 mint leaves, shredded

Slices of 1 avocado

1. First, cook the lentils. In a medium pan, combine the lentils, water, and salt. Bring to boil and simmer for 25-30 mins until the lentils are cooked but not mushy. It’s better for them to have a slight bite than to be falling apart, so check their doneness after 20 mins. When they are done, drain them well.

2. For the dressing, combine grapefruit juice, orange juice, and zest in a small saucepan. Bring to boil and turn the heat down to medium-high. Simmer for 5-10 mins, or until the juices are reduced by about half. Remove from the heat.

3. Combine the reduced juices, lemon juice, garlic, maple syrup, salt, and olive oil in an immersion blender. Blend for a minute or two until the dressing is well emulsified. Taste and check for balance of saltiness, sourness, and sweetness. One of these tastes should not dominate the other.

4. Toss the warm lentils with 3/4 of the dressing. Leave to cool on the counter for 30 mins- 1 hour. (this process will make the lentils soak up the dressing) When the lentils are no longer warm, toss gently with watercress and mint. Taste and see if the salad needs more dressing. Serve with slices of avocado.


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