Sweet Potato and lentil soup – Soupe de lentilles et patates douces

Sweet Potato and lentil soup – Soupe de lentilles et patates douces

(en français, c’est plus bas) When a thick fog has been covering the area where you live for almost a week accompanied by negative temperatures, is there anything better than a bowl of warm soup to comfort you when you … Continue reading

Lentil and walnut nut roast – “Pâté” de lentilles et noix

nutroast1

It has been a long time… 10 months without blogging… but it has been 10 amazing months, because you see, I have an adorable help in my kitchen… In Spanish, to give birth is said dar la luz, litterally “give … Continue reading

Nut Roast with za’atar – Pâté végétal aux oléagineux et za’atar

(recette en français, plus bas)

As surprising as it might sound and even if I have been a vegetarian for quite a number of years,  I had never baked or even tasted nut roasts…

The first time I heard about nut roasts was on Johanna’s blog, Green Gourmet Giraffe…  I remember finding the ingredients very appetizing and liking the idea of a vegetarian “meatloaf” (this is how it looked to me) , I kept the idea in mind and… kind of forgot about it until a few weeks ago, when Johanna announced her second “A Neb at Nut Roast” event, I pledge to myself that I would not miss it!

In case you haven’t heard of nut roast either, a it is a kind vegetarian roast made of different ingredients: one or several kind(s) of nuts + legumes or cereals + spices and/ or herbs + sometimes cheese and egg, if it is not a vegan one. Traditionnally, it is served as a vegetarian option for the Christmas dinner or any other celebration serving roasted meat. If you want to know more about Nut Roasts and learn a Scottish slang word check here (click).

The reason the name really striked me is probably because my mother tongue is French, and to my ears, a roast (un rôti, in French) sounded like a piece of meat, roasted in the oven… and if we want to go deeper into the subtleties of the French language, a nut (une noix, in French) can be at least 3 things: a walnut, a knob of something (usually, butter) or a specific piece of meat called, la noix, which is cut somewhere at the back of the poor animal’s haunch…

Of course, by seeing what it looked like, I could imagine that the translation in French would be either “pâté végétarien” or “terrine végétarienne” but this would mean that the nutty component is omitted…  I started searching recipes for a  pâté végétarien on my favourite French vegetarian cookbooks and blogs and all the vegetarian pâtés recipes I found,usually DID NOT contained any nuts, but only legume or cereal vegetables and seasoning… I even went through my copy of “Pâtés végétaux et tartinades” page by page and   but could not find any equivalent of the nut roast in over 60 recipes of vegetarian pâtés…

I started to fear that the nuts of the nut roast would be lost in the translation and in the French recipes…Was it the graal or the nut roast that I was looking for? I was starting to wonder…

Finally – hooray! -I found one of Clea’s recipes that  looked like a nut roast, it was made of lentils, walnuts and cashew, and spiced up by one of my favourite herb mix: za’atar!

I immediately tried this recipe, following exactly the instructions; even if I liked it despite the not very flavourful taste,  Mr Artichoke complained that it was very bland and he would not eat more than half a slice… As the texture was really great (the outside was firm and a little crunchy, the inside was soft and moist, with the little crunchy bits) I decided to prepare another version, changing only the quantity of za’atar and shalots and adding some extra spices and onions… The result was perfect to both our tastes: flavourful and only slightly spicy. We ate is with a salad and the rests with some bread, mustard and fresh sprouts, but  I can imagine preparing it for a picnic, or taking it in my lunch box, with a salad.

I am surely going to further  explore the world of nut roasts in a very near future! In the meantime and just in time , I am  sending this recipe to  Johanna, with my hearful thanks for making me discover nut roasts :-)

and as one of the main ingredients is lentils,  I am also sending it to Smitha  – Kannada Kitchen, who is hosting this month edition of MLLA ( no.35). My Legume Love Affair is an event started by Susan of the blog The Well-Seasoned Cook, celebrating legumes.

Ingredient for a 20x10cm loaf tin

recipe adapted from Clea’s recipe here

200g red lentils (masoor dal)
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 medium onion or 2 small, finely chopped
50 g walnuts
100 g almonds (80g + 20g)
50 g  cashew nuts
3 tablespoons  za’atar
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon of salt or a little more, to taste
pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch
1 tablespoon  flour
1 egg

note: za’atar is a Middle-eastern spice mix, composed of thyme, sesame seeds, salt and sometimes cumin. In this recipe, it can be easily replace by Madras curry powder or different combination of spices (cumin + coriander + chili powder or garam masala + chili  or parsley + oregano + garlic flakes, or whatever you like!)

Method:

Boil about a litre of water in a large saucepan. When the water boils, add turmeric and the lentils.
Reduce the heat slightly and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until lentils are soft but still firm.
Drain.

Put the shallots, onion, nuts, half the cashews, 80g almonds, chili, salt and pepper in a blender and pulse into a coarse powder.

Preheat oven to 180 ° C.

Pour the drained lentils in a bowl, add the blended mixture walnut-onion shallots and za’atar.  Mash with a fork.

Add flour and cornstarch and mix well.

In another bowl, beat the egg with a fork and add it to mixture. Stir well :  the egg needs to be distributed evenly into the mixture.

Line a loaf tin with parchment paper. Pour in the mixture and tighten it up by pressing on the top of it with your fingers..

Bake for 45 minutes.

Let it cool in the tin. Serve with a salad,  in a sandwich or cut into small sticks as an appetizer.

Pâté végétal au za’atar

Ingrédient pour un moule à cake de 20x10cm

recette adaptée d’une recette de Cléa, (ici)

200g lentilles corail

½ cuillère à café de curcuma

2 échalotes, hachée

1 oignon moyen ou 2 petits, hachés

50 grammes de cerneaux de noix
100 grammes d’amandes (80g + 20g)

50g de noix de cajou
3 cuillères à soupe de za’atar

½ cuillère à café de poudre de piment rouge

½ c.à café de sel ou un peu plus, selon votre goût

poivre
2 c. à soupe de fécule de maïs ou pomme de terre

1 c. à soupe de farine

1 oeuf

Note: le za’atar est un mélange d’épices Moyen-Oriental, composé de thym, graines de sésame, sel et parfois du cumin. Dans cette recette, il peut être facilement remplacé par de la poudre de curry Madras  ou par une combinaison d’épices (cumin + coriandre en poudre + poudre de piment ou de garam masala + chili ou de persil + origan + flocons d’ail, ou ce que vous voulez!)

Préparation :

Faire bouillir un litre d’eau dans une grande casserole. Quand l’eau bout, ajouter le curcuma et les lentilles.

Baisser un peu le feu et laisser cuire à petits bouillons pendant 15 minutes ou jusqu’à ce que les lentilles soient molles, mais encore fermes. Egoutter.

Mettre les échalotes, l’oignon, les noix, la moitié des noix de cajou, 80g d’ amandes, du sel et du poivre dans un mixeur et les réduire en poudre grossière.

Préchauffer le four à 180°C.

Verser les lentilles égouttées dans un saladier, y ajouter le mélange mixé de noix-oignons-échalotes et le za’atar. Ecraser avec une fourchette.

Ajouter la farine et la fécule et bien mélanger.

Battre l’œuf avec une fourchette et l’ajouter au mélange. Bien remuer pour que l’œuf se répartisse bien partout.

Recouvrir un moule à cake avec du papier sulfurisé. Le remplir avec le mélange et bien tasser en appuyant dessus avec les doigts.

Cuire au four pendant 45 minutes.

Laisser refroidir dans le moule. Servir avec une salade, dans un sandwich ou coupé en petits bâtonnets, comme apéritif.