Friday, 6 May 2011

Asparagus, lentil and spinach in tomato sauce

This one works pretty well... with hindsight, could have done just as well with the spinach and the lentils on their own, but the asparagus needed to be used! Both spinach and puy lentils are brilliant with a tomato sauce... I once had puy lentils in a tomato sauce with veggie sausages and mash – it was gorgeous! Anyway, on this occasion I'm serving this up with steamed rice.


Bunch asparagus
1/2 cup puy lentils
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Tbsp vegan pesto sauce
2 tsp balsamic syrup
Tsp salt
150g fresh spinach


Put the lentils into some slightly salted boiling water and then start to simmer until tender (around 30 minutes). At the same time, chop the onions and the garlic and start to fry them in a large pan or wok, in the olive oil. When they've started to brown, add the tomatoes and bring to a boil then simmer. Now add the basil, rosemary, pesto, balsamic and salt, and let this simmer for a few minutes; it should go lovely and dark thanks to the balsamic. Let this simmer for a good five minutes or so, and then add the spinach, chopped. Bring back to a simmer and let it thicken up a bit on the hob.

While all this is going on, and while the lentils are still chugging away, get your asparagus ready. I've chopped it into 2-3 centimetre chunks. then get ready to steam it for a minute or so before adding to the sauce. Also about now, get the rice on. I've used LOVELY broken jasmine rice from the ever brilliant W H Lung cash and carry in Manchester. It's great. I tend to wash it before cooking, then boil in just enough water so that it starts to dry out after 8 minutes or so and then I get a tint lid on it, turn off the heat and let it steam through for another 5 or 6 minutes.

Anyway back to the sauce. When the lentils are almost al dente, steam the asparagus for a couple of minutes until tender. Then add to the sauce and stir through well. Serve up, with the rice,

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