But on Thursday I had a lovely treat. I joined some fellow bloggers for a fantastic lunch at Odette's Restaurant, in Primrose Hill. The food was delicious, I had a salmon parfait followed by a beautifully cooked rabbit's leg, and it was very reasonably priced, £17 for two courses, and £20 for three! I didn't have pudding but they looked lovely and there was a wonderful cheese as an alternative. The lunch and the company complemented each other really well, they were both wonderful!
Karen, at Lavender and Lovage, had instigated the meal, as she was over from France and wanted to meet up with a few other bloggers, you can find her wonderful new blog here, and the lovely Vanessa from Goddess on a Budget, kindly booked the lunch. I was rather awed to be in such splendid company, as well as these two super bloggers there was Kate from Turquoise Lemons, Ren from Fabulicious Food, Helen from Fuss Free Flavours, Fiona from London Unattached, Solange from Pebble Soup and Charlotte, who not only blogs, here, but has her own company producing gluten, wheat, diary and soya free baked produce at Go Free Cakes. If you don't know these blogs I recommend a look, they are all inspiring and full of interesting ideas.
Sadly however, I am not really a lady who lunches, and I do have a family to cook for. It is good to try new recipes, especially in January when the weather is dull and food can see quite boring. So always on the lookout for something that sounds tasty (and not too challenging) I was delighted when my husband found a recipe for a winter salad, in the Times a few Saturdays ago. I adapted it to our tastes (and for ease used tinned pulses rather then the fiddle of soaking) and I was really pleased with the results, it will certainly be a regular weeknight supper from now on.
Butternut, chickpea and lentil warm salad.
The key ingredients are:
2 Red Onions, but I used some lovely Roscoff Rose Onions instead
Lentils (soaked the night before) or in my case open a tin of green lentils!
Chickpeas (1 tin )
Pancetta or you could use organic, free range bacon, which I found to be perfect
Chopped, Fresh Coriander and Parsley
Cube the butternut squash and bake in the oven with the onions (cut into chunks) for about 45 minutes
Fry the bacon in a little rapeseed oil, with a bay leaf, once the bacon is cooked add the lentils and the cumin seeds (about a teaspoonful ground with pestle and mortar)
Once the squash and onion are cooked, transfer to a large dish and add the rinsed chickpeas, the bacon and lentils. Sprinkle with the fresh herbs.
There was plenty for four of us, and if you removed the bacon and maybe added a little more spice, would be lovely for vegetarians.
|A delicious wintery midweek supper|
|The butternut squash|
|Cubed and ready to bake|
|Don't forget to add the onions|
these beauties came back from Brittany with us in the New Year
|Adding the cumin to the bacon|
|And then the lentils|
|The salad, ready to be eaten!|
Don't forget to look out for my anniversary give away, coming up soon!