After the festive season and all of its indulgences, this mushroom lentil “risotto” is the perfect way to get a healthy start to the year. As January calls for some thrifty measures, this recipe will suit the budget too.

Ingredients:

• 250g Puy (brown) lentils, well rinsed

• 1 white onion, finely chopped

• 1 small carrot, finely chopped

• 1 Tbsp olive oil

• 3 cloves garlic

• 1 tsp thyme

• 100ml white wine

• 25g dried mushrooms, rehydrated in a little water

• 500g chicken stock + dried mushroom liquor

• 100g grated parmesan

• 1 tsp butter

• 250g fresh mushrooms, quartered

• 150g green beans, lightly steamed and then placed into ice water

• ½ cup Italian parsley, chopped

• Salt and pepper to taste

• Squeeze of fresh lemon

Method:

1 Fry the onions and carrots in the olive oil for 5 minutes.

2 Add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer, until reduced by half. Add the rinsed lentils. Add the chicken stock, dried mushrooms and mushroom liquor (the lentils should be covered).

3 Mix and bring to the boil, then gently simmer with a lid on for 40-50 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the lentils are tender, but not mushy. Stir every 15 minutes.

4 Meanwhile, blanch or steam your green beans and shock them in ice water to maintain their vibrant green colour. Slice the beans in half at a diagonal. Fry the mushrooms in the butter, season and put aside.

5 Once the lentils are tender, add the grated parmesan and mix. Season to taste. Add the green beans and mushrooms, and heat through. Add the Italian parsley and a squeeze of lemon.

Enjoy!