By now, you must have heard about the health benefits of kale. It's all over the place, the new superfood! Don't get me wrong this vegetable is SUPER, and I'm glad that everyone is finding out about it, but to some of us, "the grow your own crowd", it's been a staple vegetable grown in our gardens or allotments for some time.
Personally, I would never not grow it, it really is so versatile. It looks after itself, it can tolerate drought, heat, wet and cold weather and has a long growing season. For the lazy gardener it is one of the best vegetables you can grow, just sow the seed and wait for the magic to happen.
What other vegetable do you know that makes a fine smoothie, a crunchy crisp, tastes fantastic in a soup, stir fry or salad and tastes great just steamed? OK, so there are a few.............
My kale has fed me over the winter months and I still have some growing, last weekend I decided that I would try something new and I created the lentil and kale roast. I was really pleased with the results and you should definitely give this one a try.
If you've never tried kale before and the thought of it in a smoothie sounds weird then this recipe is the one for you. Rather than packing the roast full of kale I decided it was best used to dress up the lentils, ready for a party on your plate!
Ingredients - Serves 6
1 Aubergine, about 225g
75g Kale, leaves only
150g Red lentils
1 Tsp Vegetable bouillon powder
1 Tsp Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 Tsp Fresh mint, finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 Tsp Dried mixed herbs
75g Rolled oats
2 Tbsp Ground flax seeds
4 Tbsp Water
½ Tsp Herbamare salt
Wrap the aubergine in foil and put in a moderate oven and bake for 1 hour or until very soft to the touch and the skin peels off easily.
Mix the ground flax seed and water together and set aside.
Put the lentils in a saucepan, add the bouillon powder to the 400ml of water and pour over the lentils. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes, remember to stir a lot towards the end to stop the lentils sticking to the bottom of the pan. After 20 minutes add the chopped rosemary and mint and stir through the lentils.
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the kale, boil for 5 minutes and drain, set aside and leave to cool. Once cool squeeze all the water out and chop up the kale into smaller pieces.
Saute the onion and celery in a little olive oil for 5 minutes and add the garlic, saute for another 5 minutes over a low heat and then add the dried mixed herbs. Add a splash of water to the pan if the vegetables start to stick.
Remove the aubergine from the oven and leave till it is cool enough to handle. Peel and chop/mash the flesh.
Transfer the lentils to a large bowl, add the onion mixture, chopped kale, oats, aubergine and the flax egg. Season with black pepper and herbamare salt. Give everything a good mix making sure that everything has been combined and transfer to a prepared loaf tin. Push the filling down so that the mixture is compact. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes and the top is golden brown. Serve with vegetables and an onion gravy.