Monday, 22 June 2015

Steam Time!

Cavolo Rapa al Vapore, Ripieno di Lenticchie Rosse al pomodoro & Balsamico, con i suoi Foglie
Steamed Kohlrabi, Stuffed with Tomato Red Lentils with Balsamic Vinegar & its own Leaves


An incredible meal from such simple and modest ingredients... Managing to do this is always my greatest motivation in the kitchen! It always drives me nuts when I hear the argument that buying convenience or junk food is cheaper than buying good, fresh ingredients- such nonsense!

The most important ingredient of all, costs least of all too... It is imagination! If you have a little imagination, it will go a long way in the kitchen! Add a touch of adventure and you will always be able to put together wonderful meals- and yes indeed, from the most modest of ingredients!

There are so many lovely vegetables that get overlooked by the most of us- and when they do get eaten, oftentimes they are not used to their best and full advantage and we do not make the most of them.

Kohlrabi for one... And lentils too! How basic and frankly cheap can you get? And good golly, how delicious can they be when prepared properly!?! THAT'S what it all about!


A small, modest and yet satisfying little meal it was and a very delicious one too! By using the leaves of the kohlrabi, I even had a side dish right there, as simple as could be!

So all in all I needed just 1 decent-sized kohlrabi, 1 shallot, 1 cupful of red lentils, 6 cherry tomatoes, some fresh marjoram, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper-and that was it!


By steaming the kohlrabi and lentils, I not only cooked them in the healthiest way, but I captured all of the natural flavors... And found a method to finally prepare them wonderfully without over-cooking them!

The first thing to do is to peel the kohlrabi, top and tail it, take one slice off the top, to use as a lid and to hollow it out using a melon scooper. And yes... Obviously you snack on all that you scoop out!
Chop up the shallot and the tomatoes into a relatively fine dice and cut the leaves into thin shreds.

Sautée half of the shallot together with the cherry tomatoes in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Add the lentils, a good splash of balsamic vinegar, a little bit of water and the leaves from a plucked sprig of marjoram.

Season the kohlrabi inside and out with salt and pepper, stir the tomatoes and lentils together for a minute or so and then spoon them inside and press down firmly. Add a little fresh pepper, put on the lid, season, drizzle lightly with olive oil and pop into a steamer for around 30-40 minutes.


In the meantime, sautée the other half of the shallot, then add the greens as soon as the shallot has become translucent. Season with salt and pepper and stir-fry until it wilts down, then add just enough water to cover the base of the pan and let it simmer until it has simmered away/ been cooked in.


30-40 minutes later, the kohlrabi is tender and you can already see from the paler color of the lentils that they are cooked too and are rich with the tangy vinegar, the sweet and fruity tomatoes and the aromatic marjoram... Mmmm!


Serve together with the slightly bitter greens and you have a wonderful balanced meal! And a healthy one at that!

These 2 humble ingredients never tasted so good!

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