Visionary chef Luke Dale-Roberts proves that pulses and grains have finally entered the mainstream with a selection of incredible recipes based on these simple starches.
"My first encounter with lentils in fine dining was at L’Etoile in Charlotte Street, London. We prepared Puy lentils with bacon, thyme and onions and served them with a piece of roast cod and salsa verde. I loved the earthiness of the lentils and have been hooked ever since.
Eisbein with whisky-and-maple "cafe au lait" and barley, pea and asparagus risotto
For so long, lentils and dried beans were considered hippie food and written off any cutting edge menu. But, in the new spirit of “anything goes”, pulses, along with all kinds of beans, chickpeas and grains, are making a huge comeback.
Blue cheese, bulgur, quinoa and herb croquettes with pickled pears and bean and pecan nut salsa
The ‘intolerance’ phenomenon that is sweeping the globe also means that restaurant-goers and foodies are seeking alternatives to wheat and, in turn, chefs are pushing the boundaries with these alternative starches.
Chicken and lentil broth
Shortly after I arrived in South Africa from the UK, I met my favourite hippie: Joseph Feigelson of Kitchen Garden (www.kitchengarden.co.za) frequently swings by The Test Kitchen with all manner of new and interesting grains and shoots. I’ve used them here to show, essentially, that there’s a lot more to do with beans than just serve them on toast"