November is the beginning of the spinach season! Although we are used to getting the pristine baby spinach leaves from the supermarket all year round, it is now that this marvelous vegetable is in it's proper season in the gardens of the UK.
Spinach is a super food packed with nutrients which are important for skin, hair and bone health. Amazingly, this leafy green superstar also provides protein to our diets, so is valuable to include in vegetarian or vegan recipes!
I love cooking up a pan of Puy lentils with a couple of cloves of peeled garlic and a few parsley stalks for flavour. When they are cooked, about 15 minutes, drain any residual cooking water and remove the parsley stalks. Squish the boiled garlic into a pulp, and stir into the lentils with some freshly washed spinach leaves. The spinach will wilt into rich and delicious strands of green, to which I add glugs of good olive or rapeseed oil, a scrunch of salt and freshly ground pepper, and perhaps a little grating of nutmeg. A good handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley,a squeeze of lemon, or some lemon zest for acidity and you could add a few pomegranate seeds if you have them handy. Have a taste and see what you think it might need.
Lentils themselves are full of good things, and I think this makes a really warming winter alternative to mashed potatoes or rice. Stuff some of the lentils into a roast pepper, or top a helping of spinach lentils with a piece of baked salmon, a lamb chop or a slow cooked duck leg!