Black lentil and kale pilaf

Serves: 4
Course: Side Dish
Cooking Time: 0 hr 30 mins
  • 30g black lentils or Puy lentils
  • Olive oil
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 50g long grain rice
  • 30g orzo pasta
  • 100ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 50g calvo nero kale, destemmed and finely chopped
  • 20g toasted flaked almonds
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper

1. Firstly, put the lentils on to boil. Cover in water and place on high heat. Once boiling, cook for 15-20 minutes until tender, drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, place a large skillet on high heat. Once the pan is hot add a bit of oil and the butter.

3. Add the fennel seeds, bay leaves, garlic, shallots and celery. Cook for about five to eight minutes until softened.

4. Next add the rice and orzo. Mix the grains thoroughly through the onions and celery.

5. Pour in half the stock. Turn the skillet down to a medium heat, stirring occasionally.

6. Once all the stock has been absorbed, about eight-10 minutes, add the remaining stock. Cook again for a further 10 minutes. Check that the rice and orzo are cooked fully and all the liquid has been absorbed.

7. If the rice seems still undercooked add a little more stock, about 10mls, until grains have cooked fully.

8. While the pilaf is still hot add the kale and stir through. The kale should wilt gently from the heat of the pilaf.

9. Finish by adding the flaked almonds and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Jess Murphy

Jess Murphy

Jess Murphy, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a Kiwi chef living on the west coast of Ireland