March 24, 2011

Roasted chestnuts with lentils and goat cheese

I may have mentioned it before, but I quite like cooking just for myself when I'm alone at home. I think it can be almost liberating to cook just for yourself, to treat yourself when you're alone at home and make that one dish seem so special. You can spoil yourself with ingredients you wouldn't normally get and let your imagination go wild. I love it! 

I knew I was in for a treat when I saw these gorgeous chestnuts at my local green grocer. I was craving for lentils so I decided to make a simple dish with French lentils, vinaigrette, roasted chestnuts and soft goat cheese. This dish pretty much sums up some of my all time favourite ingredients. Perfect treat to be enjoyed just by myself :-)

 Roasted chestnuts with lentils and goat cheese
(serves 1-2)

5-10 chestnuts

1/2 cup French lentils
1,5 cups water

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp walnut oil
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
soft goat cheese, to serve

Preheat your oven to 200C. Rinse and dry the chestnuts and cut a small slit in the skin of each nut. Place them on a roasting tray and roast for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and peel off the skins as soon as you can (although be careful as they are hot!). Cut some up roughly, leaving some whole or thinly sliced. Set the chestnuts aside.

Rinse the lentils and place in a small saucepan with the water. Bring to boil, then let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain off the excess water then place back in the saucepan.

Mix together the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Pour the mixture into the saucepan with the lentils and mix through. Add the chestnuts and the parsley and spoon into a bowl. Top with soft goat cheese before serving.