Zataar Spiced Red Lentil Stew
A real winter warmer. Nothing complicated but it just tastes good! I often find myself falling into the pattern of using the same herbs and spices in everything I cook, yet trying something different can make a simple dish taste new and exciting. If you're bored of the same flavours or simply curious, why not try searching for something different? There is more to the spice world than cumin and turmeric...
1 hour prep and cook time
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery sticks, sliced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
50g kale, woody stems removed and chopped
400g plum or cherry tomatoes, halved
400ml stock (approximately)
100g red lentils
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp harissa paste
2 tsp zataar (plus extra for garnish)
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
Seasoning to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, harissa and zataar and cook for a further 1-2 minutes before adding the celery, red chilli, tomatoes and lentils. Stir well to coat everything in the spices.
2. Pour the hot stock over the lentil mixture until it is just covered (I found this to be approximately 400ml of stock). Add the tomato puree and seasoning and mix well. Simmer the mixture with the lid on for approximately 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender. If you find the stew does not reduce enough, remove the lid for the final 10 or so minutes of cooking.
3. Add the kale in the final 3 minutes of cooking. Check seasoning before serving (you may also like to add a squeeze of lemon). Serve in warmed bowls with parsley and zataar sprinkled on top and a hunk of crusty bread.