This is just the sort of winter salad I love to cook. A base of hearty spiced lentils, layered with charred roasted vegetables, scented with garlic and topped with salty feta and crunchy cashews. This combination of flavours and textures makes for a winning mid-week meal for me.
Harissa Lentils with Roasted Vegetables & Feta
- 140 g lentils I used dark speckled
- 120 g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 aubergine medium
- 1 courgette medium
- 1 red onion medium
- 1 red pepper medium
- 2-3 tsp rose harissa I used Belazu
- 30 g raw cashews, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic do not peel
- 100 g fresh spinach washed and left slightly damp
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
- Olive oil
- 90 g feta cheese crumble, made from vegetable rennet
- a handful of parsley & mint roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200C fan/gas 7.
- Place the cashews on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until golden. Set to one side.
- Rinse the lentils in cold water. Place in a saucepan and cook according to the packets instructions. Drain and set to one side.
- Cut the courgette and aubergine into batons. Peel and cut the onion into wedges and the pepper into large dice.
- Place the onion, pepper, aubergine, garlic cloves and courgette onto a baking tray, season and drizzle with a little olive oil and cook for 20 minutes or until nicely roasted.
- Heat a frying pan with a drizzle of oil, add the spinach. Stir and place a lid on the pan for a couple of minutes to wilt. add the lentils to heat through. Now add the cherry tomatoes, harissa, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, check the seasoning. You may also need to add a little more oil.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven. Peel away the skin from the garlic cloves and mash with a fork. Stir it through the vegetables.
- Place the lentils on a large plate. Tip the vegetables on the top and fold through the lentils. Sprinkle on the cashews, feta, mint and parsley. Serve
- This dish is also fantastic served with lots of smaller mezze type dishes or just with flat bread.
- If you’re pushed for time, you can buy cooked lentils. For this recipe you’ll need 280g.
- If you prefer a vegan version, switch the feta for a tahini sauce; mix 1 1/2 Tbls tahini in a bowl, add a good squeeze of lemon juice and 1-2 Tbls boiling water, stir to form a smooth sauce. Drizzle on the finished dish.