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    Crostini with lentils, goats’ cheese and herbs

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    Crostini with lentils, goats’ cheese and herbs

    By Nik Sharma

    A concoction of creamy, salty goats’ cheese and tiny green lentils adorns these crostini. Chicory leaves can certainly be used in plac e of the bread, if you prefer.

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 45 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes 60 minutes 5 minutes

    Serves: 4 as a starter

    Ingredients

    100g dried green lentils
    1 tsp fine sea salt
    1 baguette
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing and drizzling
    60g soft goats’ cheese, crumbled
    2 salad onions, trimmed and finely sliced
    ½ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped, plus extra to serve
    1 tbsp sherry vinegar
    1 tsp fennel seeds
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1 tsp chipotle chilli flakes

    Method

    1. Put the lentils in a sieve and rinse under running water until the water runs clear. Tip into a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover them by about 2cm, stir in the salt, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender; drain. Spread out on clean kitchen paper for 10-15 minutes to get rid of any excess liquid.

    2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Cut the bread diagonally into 0.6cm-thick slices, brush both sides lightly with olive oil and lay on a baking tray. Toast in the oven for about 15 minutes, until light golden brown, flipping them over halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. 

    3. Put the cooked lentils in a large bowl with the goats’ cheese, salad onions and parsley. Drizzle 2 tbsp oil and the vinegar over the lentils and fold to coat well; set aside. Heat a small frying pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the fennel and cumin seeds and toast for about 45 seconds, until the seeds turn light brown and start to release their aroma. Tip into a mortar and crush to a coarse powder, then add to the lentil mix with the chilli flakes. Fold through and season. To serve, top each slice of toast with a generous tablespoon of the topping, scatter over some extra parsley leaves and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.

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