Nigel Slater: This veggie dish will cool you down and warm you up

Greenfeast::Burrata, broccoli, lentils. Milky cheese. Earthy lentils. Chilli-hot greens

Nigel Slater’s burrata, broccoli, lentils. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/HarperCollins

Nigel Slater’s burrata, broccoli, lentils. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/HarperCollins

 

Time for a little protein boost today, to power us on to the weekend, but in the form of lentils rather than meat.

I suggest you cook twice the amount of lentils required for today’s recipe – they’re handy to have in the fridge to add to salads, to bulk up lunch boxes or to add body to a soup or broth.

The idea of the cool, creamy burrata spilling into the hot, chilli-spiced broccoli and the nutty lentils is genius, with the added sweetness from the gently caramelised garlic slivers – “gently” being the word to watch out for. “Anything more then walnut brown and it will be bitter,” Slater says. – Marie-Claire Digby

A note on the recipes
Though all are plant based, the six recipes from Greenfeast, Nigel Slater’s new book, that are appearing on irishtimes.com this week – one each day, from Monday to Saturday – are not strictly vegan. They can, however, be rendered suitable for vegan diets with a bit of informed tweaking.

NIGEL SLATER’S BURRATA, BROCCOLI, LENTILS

Serves two
Milky, fragile cheese. Earthy lentils. Sizzling, chilli-hot greens

Nigel Slater’s burrata, broccoli, lentils. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/HarperCollins
Nigel Slater’s burrata, broccoli, lentils. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/HarperCollins

Ingredients
80g small green or brown lentils
Olive oil
Medium-sized head of broccoli
2 cloves garlic
30g butter
1 red chilli
2 balls medium burrata

Method
1 Cook the lentils in deep, lightly salted boiling water for about 20 minutes, until tender but toothsome. Drain them, toss in a splash of olive oil and set aside.

2 Slice the green florets from the top of the broccoli. Shave any tough bits from the stalks with a vegetable peeler, then cut the largest into small pieces. Leave any small ones whole.

3 Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the broccoli stalks. Let them cook for a couple of minutes, then remove, drain and set aside. Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves, then fry in the butter in a shallow pan until deep gold, crisp and fragrant. Remove them from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

4 Finely chop and fry the chilli in the garlic pan, adding a little more butter or oil if necessary, then, as soon as it is soft, add the broccoli florets. Cook for a couple of minutes, until tender, then add the cooked stalks and continue cooking for a further two minutes, until hot.

5 Drain the cheese, put one burrata on each plate, then spoon the sizzling broccoli and lentils over the top. Scatter with the crisp garlic and serve.

Greenfeast: Spring, Summer, by Nigel Slater, is published by 4th Estate Books

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