Wednesday 13 December 2017

Eating in: Green Power - delicious vegetarian recipes

We sample some of the tasty new vegetarian recipes from the latest LEON cookbook

LEON: Fast Vegetarian

Eating less or no meat is growing in popularity, but people often go one of two ways with vegetables. They either try to make them more approachable, more meat like, slathering them with sauce, shaping them into burgers and shrouding them in pastry; or, they turn to the exotic, relying on specialist ingredients.

Although bold approaches can yield treasures, the new 'LEON: Fast Vegetarian' book lets the vegetables themselves stand out.

Ten years after opening their restaurant chain, LEON's fifth cookery book has been written by Jane Baxter, co-author of the 'Riverford Farm Cook Book' and Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of LEON.

The book makes the most of fresh vegetables and for those of you growing your own in allotments, veg boxes or the back garden, there are lots of ideas for when you harvest a glut of one variety.

The recipes don't take hours to make, and range from dishes that can stand alone as a meal or as sides you can graze on.

And for those of you who can't have a salad without coleslaw, we have some tasty alternatives.

LENTILS WITH PEAS, BROAD BEANS AND MINT

This is great as a side, but it's equally good to eat on its own on grilled bruschetta.

Serves 6, as a side. Preparation time: 5 minutes; cooking time: 40 minutes unless served on bruschetta

LSF, 3, DF, V, WF and GF if served without bruschetta

YOU WILL NEED

100g green lentils (or Puy lentils)

1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

150g shelled broad beans

150g shelled peas

150g sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced

1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

Method

Put the lentils into a pan and add cold water to cover them by about 1cm. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain, then drizzle with olive oil, season well and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a medium pan. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir well and cook for another 2 minutes.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the broad beans for 2-3 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and add immediately to the onion mixture.

Now stir in the lentils, peas and sugar snap peas and cook together over a low heat for 5 minutes. To finish the dish, season well, add lots of chopped mint and drizzle with good olive oil.

Tips: 1) If your broad beans are large, it may be necessary to remove their rubbery outer skins after blanching. 2) Cooked artichoke wedges could be added with the peas to make a more substantial dish.

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