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Polpette di lenticchie- lentil patties

Makes 30 small polpette (or 15 larger ones)
I like small ones because you can serve them hot as finger food or let them cool off and mix them in a salad for added protein and crunch.

·         300 g of dry lentils- I like the small french lentils but all types will work well

·         1 small spanish onion

·         1 medium boiled potato

·         chopped parsley to taste

·         Salt and Pepper To Taste

·         2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil + oil for frying

·         breadcrumbs to taste

·         4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse lentils under running water, transfer them to a pan adding plenty of cold water, add a handful of salt and a bay leaf.
Cover with a lid and bring to a boil, cook for 30 min or follow cooking time on package.
Once cooked, drain the lentils and leave to cool.

Meanwhile wash, boil and peel the potato.

Once these two ingredients are ready, take your mixer and add the onion, parsley, well-drained lentils, potato, a pinch of salt and pepper, two-three tablespoons of oil and the grated Parmigiano (you can reduce quantity of cheese if you prefer or to make it a vegan recipe).

Chop everything rather coarsely (however when preparing them for kids I chop them in very small pieces). If you see that the mixture is too soft, add more breadcrumbs.

Once you have whisked everything, with your hands greased with oil, remove some of the mixture and form the balls. Pass them immediately in breadcrumbs.

 Keep them in the fridge until ready to cook them.

FRY OPTION (recommended)
Place a generous amount of olive oil in a non stick pan (use smaller pan and fry in two batches using same oil)
Use medium-high heat
You want half of the polpette in olive oil- place them when oil is hot, fry for 3 minutes and flip them to fry the on the side, until you see a nice light brown crust.
Place them on a paper towel to absorb extra oil.

BAKE OPTION

Still delicious but you won’t get the crispy crust.
Place polpette on a baking sheet.
Drizzle some olive oil and bake at 200 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Insalata di finocchi e arance rosse- Sicilian salad

Insalata di finocchi e arance rosse- Sicilian salad

This is one of my favourite early spring salads and a good way to say farewell to two great winter products- fennel and blood oranges.

Although this recipe originated in Sicily, my family has adopted it long ago with great pleasure- it's a perfect blend of sweet and salty flavours, with a "kick" of licorice taste provided by the fennel..all tied together but a generous amount of Extra Virgin!