José Pizarro’s lentils and goat’s cheese with caramelised walnuts

TO DO:

Kepa is an enthusiastic chap in his early twenties, producing the most amazing goat’s cheese. I met him at his farm in Amorebieta-Etxano. This is a really nice, simple salad I made using Kepa’s fantastic cheese. The caramelised walnuts are great as an aperitif with your beer – just add some flakes of salt and they are ready.

Total cost: £8.88

Serves 4
olive oil
onion 1, finely chopped 
carrot 1, finely chopped 
celery stalk 1, finely chopped 
garlic clove 1, crushed 
bay leaf 1
oregano a few sprigs
Spanish pardina lentils 300g
vegetable stock 600ml
ripe vine tomatoes 2, skins removed and chopped
caster sugar 75g
walnuts a handful
soft goat’s cheese 100g

Heat a little oil in a deep pan and gently fry the onion, carrot and celery for 15 minutes until really tender. Add the garlic and fry for a minute more, then add the bay leaf, oregano and lentils. Pour in the stock and add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30–35 minutes until the lentils are starting to break down and make a lovely thick sauce.

Meanwhile, put the sugar in a pan with 2 tablespoons of water and dissolve over a low heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 4-5 minutes until you have a golden caramel, then add the walnuts and mix together. Tip the walnuts onto a baking sheet lined with greased baking paper and leave to cool.

Spoon the lentils into four warmed bowls, add a scoop of goat’s cheese to each bowl, then top with the caramelised walnuts.
From Basque by José Pizarro (Hardie Grant Books, £25). To order a copy for £20.50, go to guardianbookshop.com. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min. p&p of £1.99


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