Something for nothing
Spiced Lentil Salad with Hummus and Lamb (or Kid)
In Morocco, hummus is served topped with fried, minced lamb and caramelised onions. This turns something lovely but everyday into a luxurious and rich snack or starter. Here we use similar flavours but adapt the quantities and add a coriander and lentil salad to make a substantial supper. Hummus is very easy and inexpensive to make and can be adapted to suit your personal taste with extra herbs and spices like coriander, cumin and paprika. That said, if you don’t have the time to make the hummus you could use a ready-made tub and add any seasonings you fancy, such as paprika, ground cumin or coriander, lemon or garlic.
Spiced lentil salad
* 1 small bunch fresh coriander
* juice of 1 lemon
* 4 tbsp olive oil
* 1 tsp ground coriander
* 600 g brown lentils left over from the Big Meal from Scratch or 1 x 400 g tin cooked brown lentils
* salt and pepper
* 1 × 400 g can chickpeas
* 1–2 garlic cloves, depending on taste
* 3 tbsp tahini
* juice of 1 lemon
* 6 tbsp olive oil
* or 300 g ready-made hummus
Lamb (or kid)
* 2 tbsp pine nuts (toasted, if possible)
* 1 large or banana shallot, approx. 30 g
* 1/2 tbsp olive oil
* 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
* 8–12 slices lamb or kid left over from the Big Meal from Scratch (approx. 600 g) or 700 g neck fillet seasoned, browned in a pan with oil then roasted in a hot oven for about 20 minutes and sliced
* handful of flatleaf fresh parsley
* green salad and pitta breads or flatbreads
GET AHEAD PREPARATION (optional)
The hummus can be made up to a day in advance. If you only have a little time:
* Prepare the garlic and shallot.
* Toast the pine nuts.
* Chop the parsely and fresh coriander.
30 minutes before you want to eat
* Start by making the hummus or if using ready made check the seasoning and adjust accordingly then move onto the next instruction. Drain the chickpeas and tip them into a food processor, add about 1 tablespoon water and whizz for 1–2 seconds. Don’t worry if they are not all pulverised.
* Peel the garlic, cut in half and add to the chickpeas. Add the tahini and lemon juice. Turn on the processor and pour in the oil. If the mixture seems very thick add more water. Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper. Scoop into a bowl and set aside. If you don’t have a food processor a much more textured hummus can be made by chopping the chickpeas then smashing them with a rolling pin before mixing with the other ingredients.
* If you haven’t bought ready-toasted pine nuts, tip the pine nuts into a frying pan and place over a medium heat. Toast until browned then set aside.
* Peel and finely slice the shallot. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the shallot and cook for 7–10 minutes until golden and sweet.
* Meanwhile make the lentil salad. Roughly chop the fresh coriander. Mix the lemon juice with the oil, ground coriander and salt and pepper. Place the lentils in a large bowl. Add the chopped coriander and the dressing, mix well and set aside.
* When the shallot is soft and starting to brown, add the cinnamon. Stir well, turn down the heat and then add the lamb to just warm through. Roughly chop the parsley and add half to the lamb. Stir well, season, then remove from the heat.
* To serve, place a pile of the lentil salad on each plate with slices of lamb and shallot on top. Take a generous dollop of hummus, place on the lamb and garnish with the remaining parsley and the toasted pine nuts. Serve with a green salad and some warmed pitta breads or flatbreads.