River Cottage’s Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall’s enthusiasm for food, his drive to fix some of the problems in the food industry, and his example of what can be achieved with effort should be an inspiration to all.
50 Puy lentils
½ garlic clove, finely chopped
½ teaspoon English mustard
3 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a good squeeze of lemon juice
300g kid leg steak, about 2cm thick, or kid chops
olive or rapeseed oil, for frying
2 good handfuls of flatleaf parsley leaves
150g labneh yoghurt cheese (see Top Tips)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
for the dukka
50g whole blanched almonds or hazelnuts
½ tablespoon cumin seeds
½ tablespoon coriander seeds
1 ½ tablespoons sesame seeds
½ tablespoon sunflower seeds
¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Put the lentils in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes, until tender but still al dente. Drain and return to the hot pan. Add the garlic, mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and some salt and pepper, and stir well. Put the lid on the pan to keep the lentils warm.
- While the lentils are cooking, make the dukka: set a dry frying pan over a medium heat, add the nuts and all the seeds and allow them to toast gently, tossing them often so they don’t burn.
- When the nuts are lightly coloured and everything is smelling fragrant, transfer to a pestle and mortar. Add the chilli and flaky sea salt. Give the mix a good bashing but leave it nicely textured and chunky. Taste, and add more chilli and salt if you like. Set aside.
- Heat a frying pan over a high heat. Rub the steak or chops with a little oil, season and lay the meat in the hot pan. Cook for about 7 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times, to render the meat nicely browned but still pink in the middle. Remove the pan from the heat but leave the meat in it to rest for a further 5 minutes.
- Scatter the parsley over two plates. Spoon over the labneh and about half the lentils. Slice the meat thinly (leave chops whole) and arrange over the plates. Add the remaining lentils and any of the lovely seasoned oil left in the pan. Scatter over some of the dukka and serve.
Labneh is a a thick, creamy fresh yoghurt cheese - a delicious partner to Hugh's seared kid meat and puy lentils. You can make your own labneh by adding salt to plain, whole milk yoghurt and draining it though muslin for a few hours.