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Lentils with a warm Leek, Carrot, Celery and Smoked Eel Salsa, and Pomegranate Seeds

When in pomegranate season, I absolutely love to mingle it in savoury dishes. This is also a great salad if dressed with some balsamic syrup, but I enjoy it more as a slightly warm pescatarian meal. It should take about the same time to boil the lentils, and cook down the vegetables, and then it is just a matter or mixing everything together and adding the pomegranate seeds.

  • Lentils

Boil water in a big pot, add the lentils, turn heat down to maintain a steady simmer and cook the lentils for 20 - 30 minutes, depending on the size and brand. You want them soft but not mushy. Drain well and if planning to keep, wash under cold water before storing.

For the vegetable salsa, heat a pan moderately, and add some oil to cover the surface, not too much, you just want to keep the vegetables from sticking. Add equal volumes of:

  • Celery, thinly cut

  • Leek, thinly cut

  • Carrot, coarsely grated

and a pinch of salt, and cook the vegetables down, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add:

  • White wine ( I prefer a slightly sweet alternative, like Shaoxing)

and let it bubble away. Turn heat down and keep cooking the vegetables until they soften, another 10 minutes approximately, stirring frequently and taking care not to burn them. Add:

  • Smoked Eel fillet, cut in small pieces, equal volume as each of the vegetables

one minute before you remove from heat. Place in a bowl with the lentils and mix well, adding:

  • Pomegranate Seeds, equal volume as the lentils

  • Olive oil, enough to coat everything well, but not being visible on the plate

  • Sea salt flakes, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste



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