Sunday, May 6, 2012

Celeriac and lentils with hazelnut and mint

Travels meant that my cook-one-new-thing-a-week plan got a bit derailed almost right at the start, but I'll hope that May brings a new start.

Last night I took on another Plenty recipe, and another one that was really very simple.

First, you toast hazelnuts.  Well, that's obviously going to be a good thing, because toasted hazelnuts are almost by definition delish.

Then, you cook lentils with bay leaves and thyme.  Honestly, once this starts to heat up it's almost unbearably aromatic.  That sounds strange, but last night it was true--just so pungent and rich.

At nearly the same time, you cook the celeriac.  I wasn't entirely sure what "3/8-inch chips" are.  Wedges?  Chips like English chips are french fries?  Not sure.  I ended up going more for the second definition.

The hot lentils and celeriac are mixed together with a simple dressing, and then the hazelnuts and mint added.

Lentils are never that pretty, are they?  But this was good.  The celeriac is... not sure how to describe it.  A tiny bit... not astringent, not pungent, exactly, but it's got some edge to it, despite quite a smooth texture.  With the lentils and the hazelnut flavor, it was a very good match.  I'm not sure the mint really added that much to it.  I may have been a little under-generous with it, because I'm always a bit wary of mint, so perhaps it needs more?

I also wonder how it would be if the celeriac were roasted, not boiled.  The flavor would, I'm fairly sure, be very good, but it might affect the texture--the smoothness of the boiled celeriac is actually very nice in this.