Recipe: Lentils with mushrooms and preserved lemon ragout

Rating: 4 stars based on 1158 reviews

If any of your friends say they don't care much for lentils on account of their virtuous, health-food credentials, serve them this and they will start questioning their convictions; add a poached egg on top, and you are guaranteed to win the battle. Serves four.


  • 10g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and halved
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 small carrots, peeled, one cut into 1cm dice, the other in half widthways
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 175g puy lentils
  • ¼ celeriac, peeled and chopped into 1cm dice
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 30g fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 large leek, cut in half lengthways, then sliced into 5cm chunks
  • 200g fresh ceps, cut into 0.5cm slices
  • 200g mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and roughly torn
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 35g preserved lemon skin, finely diced
  • 160g Greek yoghurt


  • Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Soak the porcini in 200ml of boiling water for an hour. Strain through muslin into a bowl, to remove any grit from the water, and set aside. Rinse the soaked porcini in fresh water and add them to the strained water in the bowl.
  • Half-fill a medium saucepan with water. Put on a high heat and add the onion, thyme, bay, the halved carrot and half a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, add the lentils, turn the heat to medium and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are cooked but still retain a bite. Drain, remove and discard the veg and herbs, and set aside.
  • Put the diced carrot and celeriac in a small bowl with two tablespoons of oil, half a teaspoon of salt and a quarter-teaspoon of ground white pepper. Spread out on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and starting to caramelise. Transfer to a bowl, add the lentils and 20g of coriander, and keep warm.
  • Put a tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan and put on a high heat. Add the leek and a half-teaspoon of salt, and fry for two minutes, stirring, until soft and lightly caramelised all over. Tip into a bowl, add the ceps and another tablespoon of oil to the pan, and fry for three minutes, until caramelised. Tip into the leek bowl, and repeat with the wild mushrooms, then return the seared leek and ceps to the pan. Add the cream, preserved lemon and porcini and their water, turn up the heat and boil for five minutes, until thickened and reduced by half.
  • To serve, divide the lentils between four plates and spoon over the mushrooms. Top with a dollop of yoghurt, sprinkle over the remaining coriander and serve hot.


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