Lentils with sweet carrots, dates & golden cream

Lentils with sweet carrots, dates & golden cream

New Feast
Alan Benson

The essential earthy quality of lentils means they make a great foil to robust flavours. Dark green leaves, caramelised onions, chill and garlic are all excellent, as are sweet dates and carrots, which we use to great effect here with a lightly curried cream dressing. Nutty little Puy lentils or black (beluga) lentils are best as they maintain their shape well.


Quantity Ingredient
100g puy lentils
1/2 small onion, halved
1 garlic clove
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
small piece cinnamon stick
good pinch sea salt
40ml extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
3 medjool dates, pitted and finely diced
1 cup shredded flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup roughly chopped tarragon leaves
a small handful watercress, rocket or snowpea tendrils,, to garnish (optional)

Golden cream

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
150ml pure cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
115g greek-style yoghurt


  1. Rinse the lentils well then combine them with the aromatics in a small pan and cover with plenty of water. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until tender. Don’t add salt as this will make the lentils tough!
  2. Drain well and, while still warm, toss with the salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
  3. To make the golden cream, heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the shallot and spices. Sweat the shallot for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the cream and lemon juice and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then stir in the yoghurt. Season, to taste, and set aside.
  4. Add the carrot and dates to the lentils, together with two-thirds of the golden cream. Stir well and chill until ready to serve. (It will keep well for around 8 hours.)
  5. Just before serving, mix in the herbs, then mound the lentils onto a serving plate. Make a well in the top and fill with the remaining golden cream. Drizzle with the remaining oil and serve at room temperature. Top with green leaves, if using, or serve with a salad on the side
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