Saturday, 4 February 2017

Onion and lentil spread recipe

Onion and lentil spread with apple slices 
One food I am struggling to find in this part of Spain is vegetable spreads to eat on crackers and bread. The Spanish seem particularly keen on pork-based pates and spreads, but they are high in fat so I thought I might see if I could make my own veggie spreads. Searching online produced dozens of tasty looking recipes which was encouraging until I realised that almost all assumed the possession of an electric food processor. I don't even have one at home, let alone in our caravan! I could mash for hours with a fork, but I didn't much fancy that idea.

Finally I discovered this onion and lentil sandwich spread on Sandra Vungi's Vegan blog. It only has five ingredients, all of which we already had to hand, and Sandra hadn't blended hers at all. I chose to give my spread a quick blast with my handheld soup blender for a smoother consistency. The spread is just moist enough to get away with doing so without risking burning out the motor!
I've reduced the quantity to suit one person and have anglicised the ingredients. The spread keeps well in a clingfilmed bowl in the fridge for several days and this much lasted me for 4-5 lunches.

Pre-blended ingredients 
100 g uncooked green or brown lentils
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 tbsp tomato puree

Boil the lentils in salted water for about 25 minutes until they soften.
While the lentils cook, heat the oil in a pan. Add the diced onion and a half teaspoon of salt. Don't be tempted to skimp on the salt. I did the first time I made this because it looked excessive, but the flavour really does need it.

Fry the onions until they are soft and golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover the pan.

When the lentils are cooked, drain them well and mix them in with the cooked onions. Add the tomato puree. Mix well and blend if you want too. Taste and add a little more salt if you skimped on it earlier!

I like that this spread can be varied by using different types of lentils or by adding extra seasoning blends. A tsp of Cajun spice mix is nice with the tomato or you could add Garam Masala for an Indian flavour.


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