Chorizo and Balsamic Lentils


This weekend I journeyed home for a village pig feast that has been vigorously and unheathily circled in the diary for a while! I’ll explain. My home village where I grew up and spent my life can be imaged as a hybrid of the ‘Vicar of Dibley’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ (without the killings I stress!) A Wiltshire village with a stereotypical local pub, glorious fields and the strong signature smell of manure tainting the air like the smell of perfume at the duty free! For the past few years we’ve shared the caring, feeding and more importantly eating, of two village pigs who we take in turns to feed and water only to butcher respectfully 6 months down the line and divide up the takings. From piglets to healthy happy curly tailed porkers the sausages and juicy joints of pork that have filled our freezer for a long while have been some of the best I’ve had. We’ve had some teathing issues along the way but nothing can beat the taste of happy wholesome and local meat. So this weekend we saved a giant leg to roast and feast on with all the team! It was delicious and I have nothing else to add.

However, after a rich and fatty roast with shards of caramel cracking, sweet and sharp apple sauce and lashings of wine (perhaps too many lashings?) I craved the fresh flavours of fish and vegetables. This little dish is so simple to knock out but so tasty and pleasing in many ways.

Serves 2

  • 2 seabass fillets, seasoned
  • 4oz Puy lentils
  • 100g chorizo
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • Bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Vegetables to serve
  1. Simmer the Puy lentils for about 15 minutes until soft and tender but with a slight bite (don’t let them get mushy). Drain and keep warm.
  2. Chop the chorizo into hearty chunks and fry in a medium hot pan until they begin to release their scarlet oils. Add in the garlic and fry for a few more minutes but don’t burn so keep an eye out.
  3. Turn up the heat a little and add the vinegar (and stick on the extractor fan as it will be pungent!). Simmer the vinegar until thickened and syrupy.
  4. Add this chorizo mix with the oily balsamic juices to the lentils. Grate in the zest of the lemon and add the herbs and season. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. Fry the seabass fillets, lightly seasoned, in a tsp of hot oil for a matter of 2-3 minutes on the skin side until crisp turning for the last 30 seconds to finish off.
  6. Serve the lentils topped with the seabass and some freshly steamed and buttery asparagus or green beans.