Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

I’ve been looking through my Spanish cookbooks for hearty winter dishes and found this in Casa Moro, the second cookbook from husband and wife team, Sam and Sam Clark, who own, run and cook at London’s MORO. I was skimming through Casa Moro looking for something to pair with the fish we were going to have tonight. I found this easy lentil recipe which should complement the crispy roasted salmon baked in a 250C oven for 10 minutes until the fish forms a crispy outer crust. I adapted the recipe below to what I had on hand – a few slices of chorizo, ham instead of tocino and no morcilla (blood sausage). Here’s what we finally had for dinner and it did go together well.

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Lentejas (Lentils with chorizo)
from the Casa Moro cookbook

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 sweet chorizo, each 10 cm. long, cut into rounds
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 100 grams tocino, cut into small pieces 1 cm. x 2cm. (Tocino is hard pig fat, used to give flavour to a lot of Spanish soups and stews. If you cannot get hold of it, use slices of jamon instead).
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly-sliced
  • 2 bay leaves (preferably fresh)
  • 2 dried ñoras peppers, seeds and stalks removed, broken into small pieces and covered with boiling water.
  • 250 grams dried lentils, brown or green
  • 2 morcilla (Spanish black sausage), each 10 cm. long
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. As it begins to smoke, add the chorizo and fry until brown. Remove and reserve the chorizo, reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, carrot, tocino and a pinch of salt. Fry for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are sweet and beginning to colour.
  • Add the garlic, bay leaves, and drained ñoras peppers and cook for two minutes more.
  • Return the chorizo to the pan, adding the lentils and whole morcillas at the same time.
  • Cover with one liter water and simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes until the lentils are tender, adding a little extra water if the liquid falls below the surface of the lentils.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and serve with parsley on top, an extra drizzle of olive oil and lots of bread. This recipe can be easily adapted to other pulses, such as white beans or chickpeas.
  • Serves 4.
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