This delicious recipe from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi has several steps, but the end result is well worth it. Hearty root vegetables are mashed with butter, maple syrup, spices and cooked lentils, then topped with shallots that have been braised in wine, stock and thyme. Cook’s Note: To make your own caster sugar, place regular white sugar in a spice grinder and process until it is very fine, about the consistency of icing sugar.
Avoiding Additives and Preservatives
I used a red wine from Frogpond Farm, which does not add sulfites to its wines. I also used Imagine stock and butter that contains only cream. Check your dry spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.
Brown shallots and then braise
Reduce braising sauce and add butter
Cook vegetables until tender
Le Puy lentils work best for this recipe because they hold their shape
Root Mash with Wine-Braised Shallots
For the shallots
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 1/3 lb (600 g) shallots, peeled
1 2/3 cups (400 ml) red wine
200 ml vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp (5 ml) whole black peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tbsp (15 ml) caster sugar
2 tbsp (30 g) butter
For the lentils and vegetables
1/3 cup (80 g) puy lentils
½ celery root (300 g), peeled and cut into chunks
2 carrots (300 g), peeled and cut into chunks
½ kabocha squash (300 g), or other type, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes (600 g), peeled and cut into chunks
5 tbsp (70 g) butter, diced
2 tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
1½ tsp (7.5 ml) ground cumin
Salt and black pepper
Put the oil and shallots in a heavy pan and fry, stirring occasionally, for five minutes until well coloured. Add the wine, stock, bay, peppercorns, thyme, sugar and a ¾ tsp (3 ml) salt, cover and simmer for an hour. Remove the lid, raise the heat and boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove the shallots and keep them warm. Stir butter into sauce and set aside until ready to use.
Meanwhile, simmer the lentils in plenty of water until tender (about 25 minutes), drain and set aside.
Half fill a medium pan with water, bring to a boil, add the celery root and carrot and, after 10 minutes, the squash and sweet potato. Ten to 15 minutes later, they should be done.
Drain the veg, shaking off as much liquid as possible, and mash well with a potato masher. Mix in the butter, maple syrup, cumin and cooked lentils and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, top the mash with shallots and pour sauce over the top. Serves 6.
From Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi
This lovely salad from Style at Home is perfect for a summer picnic or buffet. Roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas are mixed with red quinoa, nuts, seeds, mint and dried cranberries, and then tossed with a harissa-flavoured dressing. This would also be a great vegetarian entrée. I omitted the pomegranate seeds.
Avoiding Additives and Preservatives
Use a mustard that does not contain sulfites or sodium benzoate, such as President’s Choice grainy honey mustard. You can make your own harissa paste (see recipe below). Check the ingredients of the chickpeas and dried cranberries to make sure they are all natural.
Rinse the quinoa well before cooking
Roast the sweet potato and chickpeas
Toast the pecans
Moroccan sweet potato, red quinoa and roasted chickpea salad
For the harissa paste
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 chipotle in adobo, minced, plus 1teaspoon adobo sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground caraway
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the dressing
¼ cup flaxseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp honey mustard
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
2 tsp harissa paste
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp cinnamon
For the salad
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3⁄4″ cubes
1 540-ml can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup beluga black lentils
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
2 green onions, thinly sliced
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
½ cup chopped toasted pecan halves
¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves + more for garnish
¼ cup dried cranberries
1⁄3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the honey harissa dressing.
Toss ¼ cup of the dressing with the sweet potatoes and spread out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Toss another 2 tablespoons of the dressing with the chickpeas and spread out onto another parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
In a small pot, bring the beluga lentils and 4 cups cold water to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Drain, rinse and place in a large bowl, along with the roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas.
Meanwhile, in another small pot, bring the red quinoa and 4 cups water to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Drain the quinoa and let dry in the sieve for 2 minutes. Add to the sweet potato mixture.
Stir in the green onions, pumpkin seeds, pecans, mint and cranberries. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and toss gently to combine. Place the warm salad on a large serving platter and garnish with the fresh pomegranate seeds and mint leaves. Serves 6.
From Style at Home magazine