Combining rice with pulses is a great way to not only add extra nutritional value to a dish but also to layer textures and flavours together. Al dente green lentils with soft and chewy brown rice is a fabulous base for any number of combinations, but this herby salad with roasted peppers looks stunning on a plate and is delicious served with grilled or barbecued chicken or, for a vegetarian option, with some rocket leaves and crumbled feta thrown in.
800ml vegetable stock
150g green lentils
150g wholegrain Basmati rice
2 red peppers, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
180g cherry tomatoes, halved
200g tenderstem broccoli, trimmed
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons chopped blanched almonds juice
Zest of 1 lemon
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped basil freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.
2. Bring the stock to the boil and add the lentils and rice.
3. Cook over a medium heat for 30–35 minutes or until the rice and lentils are tender (add more boiling water if the lentils begin to dry out).
4. Toss the red peppers and 11⁄2 tablespoonfuls of the oil in a roasting tin and roast for 20 minutes.
5. Add the cherry tomatoes and toss, then bake for a further 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, cook the broccoli in salted water until just tender but retaining a little crunch.
7. Drain and cut into 5cm pieces.
8. Toast the pumpkin seeds and almonds in a dry pan until the almonds are lightly browned.
9. Drain the lentils and rice and put into a bowl.
10. Add the peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, pumpkin seeds and almonds, along with the lemon juice and zest and remaining olive oil.
11. Season with black pepper and toss.
12. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before stirring in the spring onions and herbs.
13. Serve at room temperature.
Alternative to the cooked rice: cooked bulgar or cracked wheat
This recipe can be found in Amazing Grains.