Pistachio pesto lentils with paneer

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I’m back home in London today after a really luxurious two week break (week 1: Alps, week 2: Brighton). Sadly, I’m not feeling swathed in luxury right now. A nasty cold has banished away all of my taste buds, so it’s my boyfriend who is vouching for this meal as being blog-worthy!

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It’s nice to be back in my own kitchen, with all my favourite ingredients – even if I can’t taste them! Apparently it was really nutty in flavour, with the natural oils from the avocados adding extra goodness. The spring onions, garlic and lime freshened the lentils, and the firm cheese provided a welcome new texture as well as a pleasing, subtle flavour.

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If you try it, let me know what you think it tastes like!

You will need:

250g green lentils, cooked and cooled
100g shelled pistachios, freshly toasted
Large handful of coriander
Small handful of mint
3-4 tbspns pistachio oil (replace with olive oil if not available)
200g paneer cheese, cubed
4-5 spring onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 chilli, finely sliced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1/2 large cucumber, halved lengthways and deseeded and sliced
1 tbspn pomegranate molasses
1 tbspn white wine vinegar
2 tbspn olive oil, plus extra to fry
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt, pepper
Yoghurt, to serve

Method:

1 – Start by pounding half of the coriander and half the mint together with a little of the pistachio oil in a mortar and pestle
2 – Tip just over half the pistachios into the smashed herbs and pound well, adding the remaining pistachio oil, salt and pepper
3 – Now tip half of this pesto over the paneer, mix well and leave to marinate for 30 minutes
4 – Finely chop the remaining mint and coriander and add this along with the remaining pesto and pistachios to the cooked lentils, along with the cucumber, avocado, garlic, chilli, lime juice, pomegranate molasses, vinegar and olive oil; season to taste
5 – Now heat a little oil in a pan and fry the paneer briefly, turning often; add to the lentils once the cheese turns golden and serve immediately with yoghurt

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