28 Jan 2013

Lentil Stew with Pan-fried Haloumi and grapes - Meat Free Monday

This sounds a little odd and perhaps a little ordinary - but it is not! 
The lentil stew is really tasty and delicious. Haloumi on top adds a great salty luxuriousness and the mint salsa is tangy which compliments the Haloumi really well. Pommegranite would set it all off beautifully - but as Kevin Spacey left it out of his ingredient list and I had to do a last minute dash to a suburban supermarket which,  of course, had no pommegranites, so we substituted grapes which were good, but not as pretty or special!

This takes a while - over an hour - so would be challenging on the average Monday - but I made it on holidays and thought it was well worth the effort.

I made double the lentil part and have 6 little containers in the freezer for lunches which makes me happy. The school year starts tomorrow ;( so back to the grindstone for all of us and the more prepared morsels in the freezer the better!

Lentil Stew with Pan-fried Haloumi and Pommegranite 

from "Meat Free Monday" Recipe contributed by Kevin Spacey

Serves 4

Lentil Stew Ingredients
250g Puy lentils, washed
3Tb Extra virgin olive oil
4 zuchinni (courgettes) sliced into 1cm disks
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 t ground cumin
pinch chilli flakes
1 Tb tomato puree
125ml dry white wine
227g tin chopped tomatoes
300ml vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
100g sliced spinach/chard
8 cherry tomatoes
1 Tb pommegranite molasses
freshly ground salt and pepper

Mint Salsa Ingredients
3 Tb fresh mint, roughly chopped
2 Tb flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 t capers, rinsed
3-4Tb Extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon

To Serve
250g block of haloumi sliced in 1/2 cm slices
1 pommegranite, seeds removed - easiest if you halve, then hit each half with a wooden spoon
over a large bowl


  • Cook the lentils in a pan of boiling water until only just tender and then drain. (this took just over 1/2 hr for me but would vary with different lentils)
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 Tb olive oil in a large pan over a medium flame. Add the zucchini and cook until both sides are golden, remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add last Tb olive oil to the same pan, add the onion and cook until tender. 
  • Add the garlic, cumin, and chilli and stir for another minute.
  • Add the liquids (tomato puree, stock, wine and tinned tomatoes) and bay leaf and bring to boil. 
  • Turn down to a simmer and simmer for about 20min. 
  • Add lentils, cover and cook for 10 more minutes. 
  • Add vegetables (zuchini, cherry tomatoes and chard) and pommegranite molasses, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes.  
  • Meanwhile prepare mint salsa by putting all ingredients in a food processor and whizzing until combined. Taste & Season
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add sliced haloumi and cook until golden brown on both sides (this only takes a couple of minutes)
  • To serve place a scoop of lentils in a bowl, top with 2-3 slices of haloumi, drizzle the salsa over the haloumi  (using it all up). Scatter the pommegranite seeds (or halved green grapes 

Wish me luck as summer finishes with torrential rain and the numb feeling that the long break is a whole year away again!


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