Tuesday, 12 February 2008

There is no winter any more

It's official, I read it in the Daily Mail (what can I say, customers leave copies in the café at Tom’s). The Mail fuelled global warming conspiracy theories, reporting that the “burst of sunshine” London has experienced since the weekend “comes just days after one of Britain’s most respected horticultural experts [Dr Nigel Taylor] proposed moving the seasons by bringing forward the official start of spring”.

Quite a clever way of tackling the problem of climate change I thought.

I embraced the early (though I fear temporary) onset of warm weather by experimenting with some salad recipes for the café. This is quite a tasty little lentil number. I'll call it 'Dr Taylor's spring-is-the-new-winter lentil salad'.

1 cup Puy lentils
¼ red onion finely diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic crushed with salt
handful of cherry tomatoes quartered (or large tomato, deseeded and diced)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ bunch flat leaf parlsey chopped (could also use mint, coriander or all 3)
seeds of ½ pomegranate
handful of baby spinach
1 avocado roughly chopped

Place rinsed lentils in a saucepan with water - about twice the volume of lentils. Bring to the boil then simmer until tender- about 20 minutes. Make the dressing by combining oil, lemon juice, ground cumin, ground coriander and garlic in a jar and shake. Once cooked, drain lentils and while still warm, mix them with the onion and dressing. When ready to serve, combine with other ingredients.

I’ve also made this with blanched green beans instead of the spinach which I think I prefer but I had the camera handy for this version.

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