One Tray Wonder: Fennel with lentils and halloumi

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Fennel is a versatile mainstay in Mediterranean cuisine. One reason is that every part can be used; the bulb root, the tender, wispy leaves, and the seeds.

Used for centuries in Asian medicine, even the essential oil made from fennel is used for upset stomach relief. It’s been said that fennel has skin softening and anti-ageing properties. High in vitamin C, its other attributes are the combination of minerals and phytonutrients that help prevent cholesterol build-up, high blood pressure, and colon cancer. Mix all this alongside the wealth of health benefits from the lentils and you’re on to a winner.

This is such a simple, light dish and takes no time to prepare.

Vegan's could replace the halloumi with tofu.

We adapted this recipe from a Yummy Beet recipe.

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Serves:          4

Prep time:     5 minutes

Cook time:    45 - 50 minutes

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ingredients

  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced; fronds finely chopped and set aside
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 large carrots, cut into 2.5 cm cubes
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 x 400g tin of green lentils, drained
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pack halloumi, cut into 2 cm cubes

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c (fan oven). In an oven proof dish, add the fennel (not fronds), onion, carrots, olive oil, salt and pepper. Crush the cumin and coriander seeds along with the chilli flakes in a pestle and mortar. Add this to the dish; toss and combine. Roast for about 35-40 minutes, tossing regularly, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown.
  2. Drain the lentils, add to the roasted vegetables, along with the fennel fronds, balsamic vinegar, garlic and a little olive oil; toss to combine all the ingredients and return to the oven.
  3. Meanwhile heat a large non-stick frying pan, over a medium heat. Add the halloumi, cooking for 2 minutes per side (it may take less time, keep an eye until it’s a nice rich golden colour).
  4. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven, combine the halloumi with all the ingredients and serve. This can be eaten hot, warm, or chilled.

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