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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hummus with slow roasted Persian lamb

I am without a doubt a fan of the humble chickpea and its versatility. For myself there is no better way to celebrate its deliciousness than to make one of my favourite dishes, Hummus with Slow Roasted Persian Lamb. This recipe was a firm favourite of customers at a Persian pop up kitchen that I ran a little while ago.

This recipe is all about slow cooking but well worth the time and effort you put into the dish. I highly recommend using dried chickpeas as you get a better texture and flavour to the hummus. I also like to use a middle eastern branded tahini as it seems to have a more rounded and nutty flavour in comparison to the ones available at the supermarkets.

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Prep Time: 4hrs 

Cooking Time: 4hrs 

Serves: 8

For the hummus 

  • 250g dried chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 large lemons, juice
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
  •  200g tahini
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Iced water
  • Water

For the lamb

  • 1.6kg shoulder of lamb on the bone
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sumac
  • 2 tbsp dried rose petals
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp white cumin seeds
  • 1/2 Persian dried lime
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt

For garnish 

  • 1/2 pomegranate – arils
  •  3 stems fresh mint torn
  • 3 stems fresh flat leaf parsley torn
  • Olive oil
  • Sumac

method 

Preheat the oven to 160c

Soak the chickpeas in cold water, set aside for approximately 2 1/2 hrs. (If not using a pressure cooker, soak overnight).

Line a roasting tin with greaseproof paper; place the lamb on the top.

Rub the rose water over the lamb.

Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan and add the spices and lime. Roast until an aroma from the spices develops but be careful not to scorch the ingredients.

Finely grind the toasted spices, lime rose petals, sumac and salt.

Rub the olive oil over the lamb and coast the whole shoulder with the spice mix.

Place the lamb in the oven and cook for 3 1/2 hrs. or until the lamb pulls apart, baste the lamb throughout the cooking process.

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Drain the chickpeas, place in a pressure cooked with approximately 2 1/2 inches of water covering the pulses. Cook on a high heat for the 1st whistle then reduce the heat to a low flame and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Once cooked open the pressure cooker and add the sea salt and set aside for 5 minutes, I find this way of seasoning the chickpeas works best.

Drain the chickpeas, place in a food processor with the garlic, tahini and lemon juice. Gradually blend the ingredients with the ice-cold water until you reach a smooth desired consistency. Place to one side until needed.

Once the lamb is cooked, remove from the roasting tray and shred the meat and spice crust.

Spread the hummus on your chosen serving plate, dress with the shredded lamb, pomegranate arils and torn herbs, finishing with a drizzle of olive oil and a sumac.

Serve with warm flat breads.