Saturday, 21 January 2012

A Meal at Odette's Restaurant, Primrose Hill and another Super Easy Supper:- Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Lentil warm salad

Some weeks are so busy, I find I have little time to post.  My little girl was unwell on Monday and Tuesday, and looking after a poorly child does seem to  take a great deal of time and energy! On Wednesday I really had to catch up with housework and food shopping!

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:

Butternut Squash
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
Cumin Seeds
Bay leaf
Chopped, Fresh Coriander and Parsley
Rapeseed Oil

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!


  1. Hello!

    It was lovely to see you on Thursday. You are right, the meal was delicious.
    Thank you also for sharing your salad recipe. It looks lovely - definitely one to try soon!

    A bientôt!



  2. Ah! It is always lovely to come to see you at A Trifle Rushed as well as in person was indeed a wonderful lunch and it was fabulous to see you again too! Great company and new friends to meet as well as superb food.....what's not to like?
    AND, that winter supper dish also looks amazing too Jude! I have bookmarked this page to make it myself, as I am always looking for new squash recipes....
    THANKS for the lovely compliments too! XX

  3. Glad you had a good meet up on Thursday, sound lovely. This recipe sounds like something I will be trying and I you've made it look really pretty with the green herbs contrasting against the orange squash.

  4. Sounds like you had a great lunch meeting all those people. Thanks for this recipe love butternut squash.

  5. Sounds like a great lunch in great company. Definitely all amazing blogs :) Love your colourful, healthy salad too!

  6. I was so sorry to miss out at lunch but really pleased you all had a great time! We too spotted this salad in the paper and enjoyed it a few weeks ago!

  7. Was lovely to meet you on Thursday. I will definitely be trying this salad with the next butternut squash that arrives in my veg box. X

  8. Thanks for such a fabulous recipe - delicious and healthy. Sounds like you all had a lovely lunch - what fun - hope your little one is fully recovered
    mary x

  9. Sounds like you had a great time at the lunch. Would have loved to be there but had my micro teach that afternoon so lots to prepare! This is just my kind of salad, pulses and roast veggies with herbs....delicious xx


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