If there ever was a recipe on this blog that exemplifies comfort food then it’s this bowl of Sumac Roast Tomatoes, Lentils and Dukkah Crusted Eggs. A bowl of simple ingredients with splashes of the exotic that envelopes you with the comfort and warmth of what must be the equivalent of a foodie hug.
What made the dish even more special to me on a Saturday afternoon when I was in need of any kind of hug, were the ingredients I used. Sumac, brought back from the Spice Souk in old Dubai by a close friend and Puy lentils that I bought in France while we were there shooting the La Creuzette cookbook in April.
I have been wanting to cook with Sumac for a while now. The Sumac flowers are ground into a reddish-purple powder and the spice is used quite often in Middle Eastern cuisine to add a tart lemony taste. A flavour I thought could work well with the sweetness of the roasted tomatoes in the dish.
I adapted the recipe from Diana Henry’s “A Change of Appetite” book that celebrates and explores the meaning of eating healthy without starving yourself of food or starving yourself of flavour. I have only recently discover Diana’s work after seeing various interactions with her from some of my favourite foodies on Twitter. I do love the book, filled with a vast array of truly interesting recipes and flavour combinations without trying too hard to be different. A book that is definitely on top of the pile when I need some inspiration.
I stuck to the recipe for the most part but instead of roasting the tomatoes with harissa used the sumac. I used a flavourful vegetable stock to cook the lentils and found the squeeze of lemon as per the recipe at the end really lifted the lentils. I also used a mix of macadamia and pistachio dukkah I had to encrust the eggs. I have a wonderful recipe for Pistachio Dukkah right here on the blog which you could use.
We are offering Food Photography Workshops as part of my collaboration with Francois Pistorius and Isabella Niehaus. You can send me a mail or message on any of the posts on the blog if you would like to be notified of the dates for future workshops as we confirm them.
- Tomatoes and Eggs
- 12 large plum tomatoes, halved
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sumac
- 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
- salt and pepper
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- 250g Puy lentils
- 700ml vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp dukkah of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C
- Lay the tomatoes in a single layer in a roasting tin and pour the olive oil over and turn to coat, ending with the cut side up
- Sprinkle the tomatoes with the sumac and sugar and season with salt and pepper
- Roast in the oven for 45 minutes until caramelized in part and slightly shrunken
- While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the lentils
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the onion and garlic until soft and translucent
- Add the lentils and give a good stir to coat with the oil
- Add the stock and bay leaf, bring to the boil and simmer uncovered until the lentils are just tender
- The will take about 15 - 25 minutes depending on the age of the lentils so keep a close eye as they can become mushy in an instant
- When cooked, all the liquid should be absorbed but if not simply drain off the excess liquid
- Remove the bay leaf and check the seasoning
- Add the lemon juice and olive oil and stir through
- Cook the eggs in boiling water for 6 minutes
- Rince in cold water and quickly peel
- Roll them in the dukkah and set on top of a serving of lentils and tomatoes
Adapted from Diana Henry