Green lentil risotto and roasted root vegetables

 

Green lentil risotto with roasted root vegetables


This dish makes a great vegetarian lunch in winter. It is a good source of antioxidants and vegetable protein. If possible, choose organic vegetables and herbs.

For a balanced meal serve some green salad, olive oil vinaigrette, and good wholemeal bread. If you can’t find raz el hanout in your shops you can make a spice mixture by using equal amounts of ground cinnamon, ground ginger, black pepper and ground paprika.

2 servings

For the green lentil risotto:

120 ml green lentils

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp. olive oil

150 ml white wine

About 600 ml chicken stock (you may not use it all)

A generous handful of freshly grated parmesan

For the roasted root vegetables:

1 medium sweet potato

1 medium parsnip

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. raz el hanout

Chopped fresh herbs to decorate

Start with the green lentil risotto which takes about 30 minutes to cook. Warm the olive oil in a heavy casserole over medium-low heat and gently sautè the onion and garlic for about 10 minutes. 

Then add the lentils and stir well so that they are coated with olive oil. Increase the heat to medium and continue cooking like you would a classic risotto by adding first small amounts of white wine and then chicken stock. NB! You don’t need to stir all the time because lentil risotto won’t achieve the same creaminess as classic rice risotto. The cooking time is about the same, 20- 25 minutes.

When the lentils are cooked, remove the casserole from heat and stir in the parmesan.

Meanwhile roast the root vegetables. Preheat the oven to 200°C, roast.

Peel the root vegetables and chop into smallish chunks. Place 1 tbsp. olive oil in a plastic bag with 1 tsp. raz el hanout and add the root vegetables. Give the plastic bag a good shake, then place the vegetables in a single layer in an oven-proof dish. Roast for about 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Divide the green lentil risotto in the bottom of the bowls and the root vegetables on top. Decorate with fresh herbs.


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Veal chops with mushroom sauce

Veal chops with mushroom sauce




Veal chops, mushrooms, and sweet potato purée are a tasty combination. Pork chops could be used instead of veal chops, they also go very well with mushrooms.

2 servings

2 nice veal chops
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 handfuls of mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
100 ml white wine
100 ml chicken stock
3 tbsp. crème fraîche, 15% fat
Leaves from a sprig of thyme
A sprig of rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh chives to decorate

For the sweet potato purée:

2 small to medium sweet potatoes
About 400 ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp. olive oil

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Place them in a casserole and cover with vegetable stock. Boil under lid until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Keep warm and covered until you are ready to purée the sweet potatoes.

Preheat the oven to 180° C.

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy frying pan. Fry the veal chops for 1 minute each side. Transfer into an ovenproof dish and add the sprig of rosemary for flavour. Bake in the oven for20 minutes.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil in the frying pan and fry the mushroom slices until golden brown.

While the mushrooms are cooking, make the sauce. Heat the white wine and chicken stock in a casserole.  Add the shallot, garlic, thyme leaves, and black pepper and bring to a boil. Cook about 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced. Then whisk in the crème fraîche and add the mushrooms.

While the sauce is reducing finish the sweet potato purée. Pour most of the vegetable stock from the casserole into a bowl but don’t discard yet. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the sweet potato chunks and press into a purée. Add more stock if needed for a nice consistence.

Serve the chops with sweet potato purée and divide the mushroom sauce over the veal. Decorate with chopped chives.


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Madone de Fenestre: Cime de la Vallette de Prals revisited

Gélas viewed from trail to Tête de la Lave




We have previously made several hikes in the mountains south of la Madone de Fenestre. Some trails are extremely popular.

The trail up to Lacs de Prals in particular has a lot of visitors during the peak season.


The trails up to the ridge named Cirque de Férisson are less visited. On the day of our hike, maybe one out of ten hikers went there. We felt that another blog post featuring this area was warranted not only because the previous hikes were in autumn.





We used a small parking by the M94 road (a sharp bend about 1 km before the sanctuary) and took a shortcut to the trail above us. We ascended in Vallon de Prals, passing signpost #362. At signpost #363 (about 2050 m), we reached the vast Plan de Prals which was used as a pasture area in summer. There were cattle and horses on the day of our hike. We forked right(west), and headed to Tête de la Lave (2375 m), today’s first summit on the ridge.


The path west ran just under Tête de la Lave and we climbed off piste to the summit marked with a single cairn. After a short break, we descended to the main trail running under the ridge and headed south. We walked under Mont Pertuis. After an almost horizontal section, we started to ascend towards Cime de la Vallette de Prals (2496 m), the highest peak of the ridge. Signpost #299 was just under the summit (crossroads to Cime de Montjoia). An iron cross was erected on the summit and 30 m further east, a cairn marked the other end.


In spite of emerging cumulus clouds, the air was crisp and clear for a July day and even the coast was visible. In the east, Cime du Diable and its surrounding peaks seemed to have a thin snow coat or an ice crust after last night’s thunderstorms.

We descended to Baisse de Prals, signpost #365, then further back down to Plan de Prals via signpost #364. Completing the anticlockwise loop at signpost #363, we descended back to our starting point.


The iPhiGéNie map capture below shows our itinerary

 

Climb: 720 m

Distance: 10,7 km

Duration: 4h 30 active

Map: Vallée de la Vésubie 3741 OT


Cime de la Vallette de Prals hike track
Cime de la Vallette de Prals hike track

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Pork with sweet potatoes and prunes

Pork with sweet potatoes and prunes


This is a warming and effortless one-pot dish, just perfect for cold winter evenings.

2 servings

About 300- 400 g fat- free pork

2 carrots

1 medium sweet potato

2 shallots

1 clove garlic

8 pitted prunes

About 250 ml chicken stock

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. Piment d’Espelette or other mild chilli powder

A pinch of saffron

Parsley to decorate

 

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy cocotte, casserole, such as Le Creuset. Cut the pork into about 4 cm x 4 cm pieces and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 


Peel and halve the shallots and add to the casserole. Add the chicken stock, minced garlic, saffron, and Piment d’ Espelette.


Preheat the oven to 200° C.


Slice the carrots and add to the casserole. Peel the sweet potato, cut into chunks and add to the casserole. Add the prunes and bring to the boil.


Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for about 45 minutes until the root vegetables are soft. Check occasionally; if the stew gets too dry add a little water.


Divide the stew on the plates and decorate with parsley.



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