This dish is hearty and colourful, with roasted peppers and salty halloumi.
Ingredients: Serves 2
- 4 red peppers
- 1 red onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery sticks
- oil for frying, e.g. vegetable or sunflower
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
- 150g dark green speckled lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 60g pitted black olives
- 100g baby spinach
- olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 slices halloumi
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 220˚C/Gas Mark 7. Put the peppers in a baking dish, as they are, with no oil. Once the oven is up to temperature, pop the peppers in for 30-40 minutes or so, depending on your oven, until blistered and blackened.
- Meanwhile, peel and finely dice the red onion and carrots. Wash and finely dice the celery. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Fry on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring now and then. Add a splash of water if it looks like it might catch.
- Meanwhile, rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold water. Peel and finely chop, grate or crush 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves. After 15 minutes, add the garlic to the veg and stir for 2 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaf, dried oregano, cumin and mint. Add 500ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Keep an eye on the liquid towards the end, top up with a splash of water if needed. You want almost all the liquid to be absorbed by the end of cooking, but still a little sloppiness.
- Once done, remove from the heat if the peppers aren’t quite ready. Meanwhile, wash ½ the bag of baby spinach and leave to drain (save the rest for use in other meals). Once the peppers are cooked, pop in a plastic bag, or in a bowl covered with clingfilm. Leave the peppers for 10 minutes, or until just cool enough to handle, then rub off the skins and remove the seeds inside. Don’t be too precious if all the skin doesn’t quite peel off, odd bits are fine to leave.
- Roughly slice the peppers. Stir into the lentils along with the vinegar and olives. Gently reheat if necessary. Season to taste. Remove the bay leaf. Keep the lentils to one side while you fry the halloumi.
- Heat a dry frying pan, or a griddle pan if you have one. Add the halloumi and dry-fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden (or ridge lines appear, if using a griddle). Serve the lentils with the halloumi slices and baby spinach.