Monday, August 8, 2011

Lentils and Celeriac with Toasted Hazelnuts

Another one from Plenty. I had some celery root that I was planning to use in a salad, but when I saw this recipe I knew I would make it instead. This is my idea of the perfect easy dinner for one, and boy was it good! The hazelnuts and mint together with the tang of the vinegar reminded me a lot of a lamb and rice dish my mom would make when I was little, almonds, mint and lemon. You can buy the ingredients for this any time of year but I feel like this would be especially delicious on a cold winter or autumn day.

Start by putting hazelnuts on a baking sheet in the oven at about 300 degrees for 15 minutes. While they are toasting, put lentils in a pot of water seasoned with a bay leaf and thyme, and start to boil. Start a second pot of salted water boiling for the celeriac. Cut the celeriac into large chunks (or "chips" as Yotam puts it), and add them to the water. Let both pots simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the celeriac is tender and the lentils are al dente. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and coarsely chop the mint and set aside. When the lentils are done, drain them and toss immediately with salt and pepper, a little red wine vinegar, olive oil, and hazelnut oil (about 1.5 parts olive to one part hazelnut). Add the celeriac, mint, and hazelnuts. All told, this shouldn't take more than a half hour and it is well worth every minute. As far as quantities go, I like to make about 1/4 cup of dry lentils per person, and you can portion out the other ingredients accordingly... I think I used about 1/4 cup of whole hazelnuts, a small handful of mint leaves, and one medium celery root (about the size of a baseball), and that was good for two servings. I eyeballed the oil and vinegar but I'd bet I used about a half a tablespoon of each oil and half a tablespoon of vinegar as well.

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