Warm Lebanese spiced roasted butternut and sweet potato salad with beluga lentils and pomegranate

Over the last week I’ve been feeling really sick with a cold resulting in me feeling really lethargic and irritable, everything I’ve eaten has not satisfied me in the slightest not even soup and being on a diet hasn’t helped much either.

I was determined that lunch today would be full of the things I love, the dish served was a delicious warm Lebanese spiced roasted butternut and sweet potato salad with beluga lentils and pomegranate. I was really pleased with the results as I could actually taste all the spicing and flavours for the first time in days, the road to discovery is definitely in sight.  I guess eating bright vibrant food helps to rebuild the soul too.

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Warm Lebanese spiced roasted butternut and sweet potato salad with beluga lentils and pomegranate

Prep 15 minutes

Cooking time 1hr

Serves 2

Ingredients

For roasting 

1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes

1/4 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes

2 romanesco peppers, cut in half

1 tbsp Lebanese spice blend ( equal quantities of ground: cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, all spice, coriander)

1 tbsp olive oil

1tsp sea salt

For the salad

1 small pomegranate, de-seeded + juice

10 on the vine cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/4 portion cucumber, chopped into small cubes

mixed lettuce leaves

125g ready to eat beluga lentils

1tsp olive oil

sea salt, to season

plack pepper, to season

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180c

In a tray add all the ingredients for roasting except for the peppers, combine the ingredients and roast for 40 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes and butternut squash are roasting prepare the rest of the salad ingredients and combine in a bowl.

Oil the peppers and add to the roasting pan for 20minutes.

Remove the peppers, sweet potatoes and butternut squash from the oven after 20 minutes.

Peel the skin from the peppers and slice into strips, add the peppers, butternut squash and sweet potatoes to the rest of the salad ingredients, combine and serve.

A great addition to this dish would be toasted walnuts…… wish I thought of that before i ate it !

 

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persian orange cakes

There is no denying that I am a bit of a fan of Persian food. I’m seduced by its play with textures and intense flavours, there is a a certain depth from Persian food that satisfies the soul like no other.

Persian Orange Cakes were another popular recipe from my Persian pop up. These little cuties wowed so many customers, light to eat, sticky with a decedent scrumptious icing – what more would you need ?

persian-orange-cakes

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes 

Serves: 10

For the cake :

  • 2 large blood oranges
  • 300g almonds, roasted and ground
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 310g caster sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cardamom, ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground

For the syrup:

  • Juice from 1 blood orange
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water

For the icing:

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar, sieved
  • 1/4 tsp orange blossom water

For the decoration:

  • Orange segments
  • Edible rose petals
  • Crushed pistachio

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.

Line a muffin tin with holders.

Place the blood oranges for the cakes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes.

Drain the water boiled water and repeat the process.

Remove the oranges from the water, chop into quarters, place in a food processor and blend until smooth.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and pale, I use my Kitchen aid mixer to save my arm.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, add the ground almonds, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder and processed oranges to the eggs, use a large metal spoon to fold in the ingredients

Pour mixture into the muffin cases and bake for about 25 minutes until it’s golden on the top and a skewer comes out clean.

While the cakes are cooking make the syrup by placing the orange juice, sugar and water in a saucepan, heat over a medium heat until the mixture thickens.

Remove the syrup from the heat and add the orange blossom water.

Once the cakes are cooked remove from the the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes then drizzle over the syrup, be careful not to add too much of the syrup.

Leave the cakes to cool before icing.

To make the icing cream together the softened butter and sieved icing sugar until smooth and fluffy then cream in the mascarpone until smooth.

Spoon the icing onto the cakes and decorate with the orange segments, pistachios and rose petals.