Monday, 19 September 2016


Whilst the warm weather hangs around making summer in the UK last for just that little bit longer, here is a gorgeous dish that you can pop into your slow cooker and leave to work it's magic whilst you enjoy the remaining sun. This red lentil dish is an Italian favorite that uses a tin of tomatoes and chili, garlic, a variety of herbs, red wine vinegar, a pinch sugar and a good blast of seasoning to great a vibrant side that is a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy, bringing those summer vibes right into your kitchen.

This dish will create a hefty portion which should be more than enough for 4-6 people. You don't have to use a slow cooker, pop everything into a large pan and leave it too simmer instead if you wish. This might not take as long as it would in a slow cooker so keep an eye on it and keep stirring every now and then to stop the mixture from catching on the bottom of your pan. Add in some additional vegetables or herbs as well if you think they will compliment the recipe;

Slow Cooked Italian Red Lentils

450g Rinsed Red Lentils
400g Tin Of Chopped Tomatoes
2 Grated Garlic Cloves
1 Finely Chopped Sprig Of Rosemary
1 Finely Chopped Sprig Of Thyme
Handfull Of Finely Chopped Parsley
1 Peeled And Diced Carrot
1 Peeled And Diced Red Onion
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tsp Chili Flakes
1 Tsp Caster Sugar
Salt And Pepper To Season
  1. Pop all the ingredients into your slow cooker, seasoning liberally with the salt and pepper. Give everything a good mix together and pour in enough water until it is about 1 cm over all the ingredients.
  2. Pop the slow cooker onto high, cover and leave to simmer for around 4-5 hours until the lentils are soft. Keep an eye on the mixture and if the water has reduced too quickly, add in a drop more to keep the liquid level around 1 cm over the lentils. Stir regularly to stop the mixture catching on the bottom of your slow cooker.
Once the lentils are nice and soft, give everything a good mix together, season some more if needed and serve. The red lentils should be nice and plump having absorbed all the yummy herby tomato sauce. The addition of the red wine vinegar and caster sugar gives the dish a sweet, sharp edge that really puts the zing into this delicious side dish. It makes a great alternative to mash potatoes if you want to serve it with some juicy sausages or you can treat it like a dip and scoop it up with some warm pita bread. Bring summer into your kitchen any time of the year with this incredible Italian side dish.

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