Roasted radishes with sorrel, crispy lentils, and buttermilk dressing
This is a very cheerful dinner. Radishes and potatoes are roasted in a little honey and lemon to exaggerate their sweetness, offset by the crispy roast lentils. I use my favourite spring leaf here, sorrel. Its bright lemony flavour makes you sit up when you take a mouthful. This recipe is everything I want in the winter, brightness that somehow makes your mouth water.
If you can’t get hold of sorrel, scrunch a couple of handfuls of spinach together with the juice of half a lemon and roughly shred. Scatter over the top in place of the sorrel. It won’t be quite as pretty but it will taste great. Look out for the long breakfast radishes here or the unusual purple ones; they will add some extra good looks. The flavours in the salad are subtle, so be sure to season it carefully.
400g radishes, halved
400g new potatoes, halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 unwaxed lemon
1 tablespoon runny honey
2 x 400g tins of Puy lentils, drained and dried on kitchen paper
50ml buttermilk or thin plain yoghurt
2 handfuls of sorrel leaves
Preheat the oven to 220oC/200oC fan/gas 7. Tumble the radishes and potatoes into a roasting tray with a tablespoon of the olive oil, the juice from half the lemon, the honey and some salt.
In a separate roasting tray, mix the lentils with a generous pinch of salt, another tablespoon of olive oil and the zest of the lemon.
Place the tray with the radishes and potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes, giving it a shake once or twice during the roasting time. With 15 minutes to go, add the tray with the lentils to the oven. After 15 minutes they should be crispy and beginning to blister in places, and the radishes and potatoes should be soft and brown at the edges.
Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking the buttermilk with
a good squeeze of the other half of lemon and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper, taste and add more lemon if you like and set aside.
Once the lentils and radishes have had their time, remove from the oven and mix everything in rough layers on a large platter with the sorrel, then drizzle the buttermilk dressing over the top.
Image: Ana Cuba
Recipe taken from The Modern Cook’s Year