Last week was pretty weird. Life's felt pretty manic without it actually being crazy busy. Our lounge is still a building site, our telly is sat in the dining room and we have built a little fort of blankets and cushions under the dining table where we chill out after dinner (because our chairs are so damn uncomfortable). I have been trying really hard to stick to our reduced meat intake resolution and have sort of been succeeding. The other day we made this lovely puy lentil and pear salad which was full of wintery, earthy flavours. And then it went downhill and I ended up being so lazy that every day for the past five days we've had ready cooked pasta or went out. Yep!
But let's not talk about that. Back to the lovely lentil winter salad. Here it is:

COOKS 30mins

    •    200g puy lentils
    •    750ml vegetable stock
    •    1 sprig thyme
    •    2 ready cooked beetroots, cut into cubes
    •    1/2 aubergine, cut into cubes
    •    4 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
    •    1 red onion sliced
    •    1 garlic clove, minced
    •    1/2 firm pear, cut into cubes
    •    4 tbsp balsamico
    •    2tbsp red wine
    •    1 tsp brown sugar
    •    olive oil
    •    salt and pepper to season

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Rinse the lentils, place in a medium size saucepan, cover with the stock and simmer on a medium to high heat for 25-30 minutes or until tender.
  3. Place the aubergine on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes turning half way through.
  4. Preheat a little olive oil in a pan, add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften, then add the mushrooms and the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and start to brown. Set aside.
  5. Wipe the pan clean and add a little olive oil. Pan fry the pears until golden and caramelised on all sides.
  6. Once the lentils are cooked mixed them with the mushrooms and aubergine and top with the cubed beetroot and pan-fried pears.
  7. In a small saucepan heat the balsamico, sugar and wine and quickly bring to the boil. Simmer for a minute or so until the mix resembles a syrup. Drizzle over your salad and top with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  8. This is the perfect, super healthy winter dish. Delicious. This would go particularly well with warm apple or pear cider. :) 

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