I love a Kiwi summer for so many reasons, but one consistent highlight year after year is the sudden increase in shared meals amongst friends and family. Like the emergence of spring flowers, it all happens as soon as the sun is shining and everyone has a little feel of sand on their feet and salt in their hair. There is both spontaneity and a casual calm in the air that I want to bottle and hold onto all year. I find that for those cruisy call-ins and “just bring a salad to go with the barbie” type moments, a few easy throw-togethers are good to have in the culinary repertoire. This recipe came about on such an occasion, when I had very minimal ingredients in the pantry and equally, very minimal time between beach and BBQ. But what I threw together didn’t compromise on flavour or time spent having fun.
Lentils are edible seeds of the legume family and come in a variety of colours including red, green, brown, yellow and black. These vegetarian staples make for a cheap and convenient vegetarian base for meals. Lentils are a complex carbohydrate and are high in fibre and several minerals and vitamins. They are a good source of magnesium, iron, folate, and potassium. These tiny rounds may not be the prettiest of health foods, but they are nutritional powerhouses that are pretty darn good for the whole body!
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
250g mini mixed tomatoes
1 large courgette, sliced into 1cm rounds
2 x 400g cans of lentils, rinsed and drained
1 vegetable stock cube
4 tablespoons of basil pesto
100g of goat’s feta, crumbled
Handful of fresh basil leaves
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and stir frequently. Gently fry the onion and courgette for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and starting to brown in some parts on the outside.
- Add the lentils, stock cube and 6 tablespoons of water to the fry pan. Stir in the pesto, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for approximately 3 minutes, stirring gently.
- Place lentil mix onto a serving platter or large bowl and sprinkle with feta and basil