Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Halloumi with Exciting Lentils

Lentils.  A side dish you will never find in a steakhouse.  Associated with long haired, unwashed vegetarians they have wound up with rather a bad name.  Flavourless, Textureless, and as exciting as watching the latest budget report delivered in sign language.

Not so boring, perhaps?

Of course, like a lot of things in life, the truth is otherwise. A staple diet in Indian and French cuisine well cooked lentils can be a thing of pure bliss.  The recipe below uses the Grand Cru of Lentils.  The puy.  Small, with a dark green tinge, they deliver a nutty flavor and a wonderful texture.  They are also fantastic at absorbing flavor.  You can usually find them in the health food section of the supermarket.

The key to making sure they are right is to keep tasting while cooking.  You will soon notice when the lentil reaches that point of perfection.  If your liquid runs out and they are still too hard, just add more water and let it cook further.  The lentils are dressed with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.  Ensure you add this just after cooking so that the lentils can absorb the flavor.

To make the dish even more exciting why not cover with cheese!  Halloumi to be exact.  Halloumi is starting to get noticed by us Kiwi shoppers.  And for good reason.  Nothing beats a good slice of cheese, except for a good piece of fried cheese!  Halloumi should always be eaten cooked and is best eaten when still warm.  I've used the Over the Moon Garlic Halloumi here.

So get excited.  Get Brave.  Get cooking lentils.

Halloumi with Exciting Lentils

Serves  2
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 50 min


1/2 cup puy lentils
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme leaves
1 Bay Leaves
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
200g Halloumi


1. In a large pan heat 1 Tbsp Oil.  Add the diced onion and cook gently for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and thyme and bay leaves then cook for a further minute.
2.  Add the lentils.  Stir to combine then add the stock and water.
3.  Bring to a simmer and then cook slowly for approx 30-40 minutes until the lentils have absorbed all the moisture and are tender. Season.
4.  Place the balsamic vinegar in a small mixing bowl then slowly drizzle in the EV Olive Oil while whisking continuously.
5.  Add the vinaigrette to the lentils.  Stir to combine. 
6.  Slice the Halloumi into pieces approximately 3cm thick.  Place into a dry pan on a medium low heat and cook for 3 minutes either side until golden.
7.  Serve the Halloumi on top of the lentils immediately.

1 comment:

  1. I love lentils, and cook them often. Of course I can never cook them without hearing the voice of Neil in my head "oh no, I've spilt the lentils on the floor". :D