Sunday 22 January 2012

Veggie-heavy easy dinner for Saturday

We had the in-laws over on Saturday night, and I wanted something easy and low-ish fat (ie: lots of vegetables), satisfying and simple to do.
I’d spotted this recipe for Turkish bulgur and red lentil soup a couple of weeks ago in The Guardian. This is my version.

One 400g tin of red lentils (the original recipe has 100g, but seriously, what you are going to do with the leftovers?)
A large onion (white or red, doesn’t matter)
Some dried thyme
Salt and pepper
3 cloves of garlic
A good teaspoon of smoked paprika
1.5 litres of stock (water and stock cubes are fine)
50g bulgur wheat (I got this as a gift; if anyone knows where to find this, let me know!)
One small pot of tomato puree
50g Greek yogurt

The original recipe has a flavoured oil to add to the finished soup, but I was saving a few calories so I didn’t make this.

Drain the lentils and add them and everything else except the yogurt to a pot and cook for about 20-25 minutes, until the onions are cooked. Blend until smooth either with a stick blender or in a blender and stir through the yogurt just before serving.
This soup was really, really delicious, with a smooth flavour and quite satisfying. It will definitely be made again, if I can find the bulgur wheat!

For the main course, I made a meaty variation of a vegetarian filo pastry tart from Delicious magazine. To make it veggie, leave out the lardons and add some extra spinach.

5 filo pastry sheets
50g melted butter
2 peppers
200g lardons
2 cloves of crushed garlic
250g ricotta
2 eggs
250g frozen spinach (defrosted and drained)
200g feta cheese

Grease and line a 20cm dish – I used a cake tin!

Cut the filo sheets in two and line the inside of the tin, overlapping the sheets over each other and leaving about half the sheet hanging over the edge of the dish – you’ll be using this to ‘close’ the tart when it’s filled.
Half and de-seed the peppers and then grill them until a hot grill for about 5 minutes on each side. If you are so inclined, peel them.
Fry the lardons and garlic for a few minutes.
In a bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs, some black pepper, the prepared spinach and the crumbled feta. Add the cooked lardons and garlic, and the peppers. Pour this mixture into the filo case. Fold the hanging pastry over the top, brushing each sheet with the melted butter before placing the next one. Brush the whole top with the melted butter.

Cook in a hot oven at 200° for 30 minutes, until golden on top.

We served this with salads and crusty bread.

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