Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Lentil Minestrone with Olive Almond Pesto

A good hearty bowl of lentils can be enjoyed even in the summer.  In a nice air-conditioned room.  I love the Italian climate.  Oh yes, it’s a bit hot now, but I enjoy the long strolls under the scorching sun.  I like walks.  I don’t walk in Scotland.  I run in the cold wet rain to minimize my time outdoors between school buildings.  Last time I rushed back home because it was so cold, mind you, it was mid May, and I tripped and fell on the pavement.  Fortunately nobody saw.  If you’re in Scotland or somewhere cold right now, this bowl of lentils is the way to go.  If you’re in a nicer place enjoying the summer as one should – eat this in an air conditioned room.  

There's a pesto that's mixed in at the very end.  It has a good base with deep rich flavors, but at the end you freshen it up with a simple pesto made with parsley, almonds, olives, sun dried tomatoes and olive oil.  That's the secret. What you could do is puree the whole lentil minestrone first and then make a pretty green swirl pesto in each individual bowl.  Or you could simply do this.  
Ingredients
1 carrot
1 stick celery
1 small red onion
70g lentils
½ courgette, cubed
1 large tomato, cubed
½ cup parmesan

2 tbsp olives
1 tbsp almonds
1 small piece sun dried tomato
parsley
olive oil

Method
Fry the carrot, celery and onion in a pot with some oil until fragrant, then add the lentils, courgette and tomato.  Add enough water to cover the lentils and up for 1 inch.  Wait for it to boil then bring the heat down to a simmer, cover and let cook for 30-40 minutes until lentils are tender. 

While the lentils are cooking, puree the olives, almonds, tomato and enough parsley and olive oil to form a thin paste.  Adjust the ingredients to your liking.  Stir this into the lentils along with the parmesan.  Season.  

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