Recipe: Lentil fritters with roast beetroot & hot Camembert cream

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Lentil fritters with roast beetroot and hot Camembert cream. Photo / Doug Sherring
Lentil fritters with roast beetroot and hot Camembert cream. Photo / Doug Sherring

200g cooked beetroot
2 small apples (90-100g each)
1 tbsp wine vinegar
15g butter
2 tbsp hazelnuts, roughly chopped (optional)
1 egg
4 tbsp self-raising flour
½ Camembert (125g), cut into 1.5cm dice
300g braised lentils
3 tbsp creme fraiche
3 tbsp apple juice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
40g watercress (½ small packet/bunch)
Salt, freshly ground black
pepper and cinnamon

1 Preheat oven to 220C.

2 Cut the beetroot into 1.5cm wedges. Cut 1 apple into 10 wedges. Put the beetroot, apple wedges and wine vinegar onto a baking tray. Dot the butter on top. Season with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Toss everything together. Roast in the oven for 8 minutes. Use a fish slice to turn the beetroot and apple. Sprinkle the hazelnuts onto the tray. Roast for 7 minutes or until the apple wedges are very soft and golden around their edges. Turn off the oven and leave the tray inside with the door slightly ajar to keep everything hot until you need it.

3 While the beetroot and apple wedges roast, make the fritter mixture. In a large bowl add the egg and flour. Whisk them together until there are no lumps. Add half of the diced camembert. Put a sieve over the top of another bowl. Put the braised lentils into the sieve and shake them until most of their liquid is drained off. Weigh 250g lentils and add to the egg and flour. Grate the other apple. Weigh 60g grated apple and add it to the bowl. Stir everything together. Season to taste.

4 Next, make the Camembert cream. Get a small saucepan. Add the rest of the diced camembert, the creme fraiche and apple juice. Melt over a low heat for 3-4 minutes. It needs to be hot, but don't let it boil or it will separate. Season to taste. Remove from the heat.

5 Get a large non-stick frying pan. Add the oil and get it really hot. Add the lentil mixture in 4 large spoonfuls; flatten each to a fritter, about 8cm in diameter. If your pan isn't big enough, cook them in 2 batches. Fry the fritters over a medium heat for 1½ minutes. Turn them and fry for 1½ minutes on the other side until golden but still a little soft in the centre.

6 Put 2 lentil fritters on each of your plates. Spoon the beetroot, apple wedges and hazelnuts alongside. Add the watercress sprigs. Warm the camembert cream and pour it over everything on your plates at the table.

- Herald on Sunday

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