Gozitan Lentil Salad with Rice

Holiday food. Bread and cheese. Sometimes with tomatoes. Sometimes with figs. The trouble with Gozo is local cheese is hard to come by. The villages are too small for markets and the supermarkets are full of Cheddar, Double Gloucester and Feta.

So to break with tradition I thought I’d try and make a lentil salad – something resembling the lentil salad I bought for lunch from Green Valley a couple of weeks ago. My family never cease to spring surprises on me and everyone wanted some. One tin of lentils doesn’t feed five hungry people and having been to the supermarket twice a day every day I wasn’t going back a third time.

So I started by cooking a couple of cupfuls of long grain rice.

Place the rice in a pan, rinse with water a few times. Then, leaving about 1cm of water above the rice, bring to the boil. When peaks form, turn the heat off and put the lid on. Leave until cool.

Now for the rest of the salad

1 onion – halved then finely sliced
½ red pepper – finely sliced
½ green pepper – finely sliced
1x400g tin of green lentils – drained
olive oil
salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon paprika

Heat about 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. When hot add the cumin seeds and onion, then turn the heat to medium and fry gently until the onion is soft and starting to brown. Now add the rest of the ingredients and cook slowly until the pepper starts to soften. Remove from heat.

When cool, add to the rice, mix well and serve with feta cheese, olives and red wine.

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