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Roast vegetables with lentils, feta and dry gin Martini.

Roast vegetables with lentils, feta and dry gin Martini.

Make a big batch of this on a Thursday or Friday and you’ll have a stash of flavour in your fridge to compliment almost everything.
Make a big batch of this on a Thursday or Friday and you’ll have a stash of flavour in your fridge that goes with pretty much anything you may feel like whipping up over the weekend. Stuff it into pita breads along with some rocket and light mayo for a post-treadlie session sanga; take the time Saturday afternoon to make your own roast veg pizzas or simply reheat and serve with a Sunday roast. Don’t be shy to freestyle here either, substitute any of your favourite vegetables, nuts, cheese or vodka for your Martini.

Ingredients: (Serves plenty)

2 large parsnip, cut into finger-sized batons
2 large sweet potato
3-4 spring onions, sliced
20 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 cloves garlic
1 tbs. Cumin seeds
1 tbs. Sumac (you can get this from any middle eastern supermarket)
1 cup Le Puy lentils
1 cup of rice
150g feta cheese
100g pine nuts, or other nuts
A handful of chopped parsley
A squeeze of lemon juice
75ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Sea salt & pepper to taste


1. Before you do anything, make your dry Martini. Put a couple of ice blocks into your Martini glass and fill with water to chill the glass. Take 100ml of your finest gin and pour into your cocktail shaker and fill with ice cubes. Add 10mls of Nollie Prat vermouth and stir for about 2 minutes. If you like your Martini a little ‘wetter’ then add an extra 10ml of vermouth, or if you’re feeling a little more daring you could try the ‘Dean Martin’ – rumour has it that when making his signature Martini he would simply show the bottle of vermouth to the gin rather than adding any of its contents. Strong. Once you have stirred the mix enough to dilute the spirits to perfection, empty the Martini glass and strain the drink into the glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon peel, or olive. You are now ready to cook.

2. Grab a large oven proof dish, douse the root vege, garlic, cumin seeds and sumac in about half the olive oil, toss with some sea salt and chuck in the oven at 180c. After about 10 minutes add the tomatoes and return to the oven and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. When the roast vegetables are golden and the tomatoes are blistered, remove from the oven and set aside.

3. While the veg is cooking, throw a cup of green Le Puy lentils into a saucepan along with a handful of long grain rice. Add 3 cups of water, a pinch of salt and then bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside. 

4. Gently heat a small frying pan and toast the pine kernels, or any other nuts you prefer until golden brown. Add to the cooked vegetables in the oven pan.

5. In a small bowl whisk together the remaining olive oil, mustard, a squeeze of lemon juice, chopped parsley and sliced spring onions. 

6. Stir the lentils and rice with the roast veg in the oven dish, crumble the feta over the top and sprinkle some sesame seeds and you’re good to go. Now who wants another Martini?
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