Basil and beetroot is a great combo and the creamed lentils, made with yoghurt and a bit of spice, offer up a fragrant earthiness that beautifully complements the sweetness of the beets and freshness of the pesto. This recipe is on the menu at Burning Lamb. Read more about Al Brown's Burning Lamb venue
For the roasted beetroot
|1 kg||Beetroot (Main)|
|¼ cup||Cooking oil|
For the basil pesto
|1 ½ cups||Basil leaves, picked (Main)|
|⅓ cup||Pine nuts, toasted|
|⅓ cup||Grated parmesan cheese|
|2||Garlic cloves, finely chopped|
|3 Tbsp||Lemon juice|
|½ cup||Olive oil|
For the creamed lentils
|1 ½ cups||Green lentils, dried (Main)|
|1 cup||Natural yoghurt|
|1 tsp||Cumin seeds, toasted then ground|
|1 tsp||Fennel seeds, toasted then ground|
|1 ½ Tbsp||Lemon juice|
|⅓ cup||Olive oil|
|¼ cup||Pine nuts, toasted, to serve|
|1 sprinkle||Extra virgin olive oil, to serve|
- To roast beetroot, preheat oven to 180C. Place beetroot in a small roasting pan, add the water and oil, then cover with tin foil and roast in the oven for an hour or more until the beetroot are soft through the centre. Remove once cooked, cool, then peel off skins. Cut into pieces. Refrigerate until required.
- Make pesto. Place all the ingredients in a tall jar or similar. Blitz with a wand blender until smooth. Taste and season accordingly with flaky sea salt and fresh black pepper. Refrigerate until required.
- Place the dried lentils in a saucepan. Cover with water and add a little flaky sea salt. Cook on medium high heat until boiling then turn the heat down to a rolling simmer. Keep adding water as the lentils cook, stirring occasionally. Check after 30 minutes. The lentils are cooked when they are soft to the bite but holding their shape. Strain off any remaining water and cool.
- Once cold, stir in the yoghurt, the spices and the lemon juice. With a wand blender, blitz about half of the mix, so it's kind of smooth but with whole lentils still visible. Stir through the olive oil then taste and season with flaky sea salt and fresh black pepper. Refrigerate until required.
- To serve, place the creamed lentils on the bottom of a platter or individual plates. Top with the roasted beetroot, spoon over some pesto, then scatter on the pine nuts. Pour over a little extra virgin olive oil to finish. Eat immediately.
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