Barry Nichols – Roasted Carrot & Fennel with Harissa, Black Lentils & Yogurt(v)

Barry Nichols, Executive Chef of Graysons Restaurants

is pioneering flexitarian dishes for conference delegates and event guests.  Over forty years of culinary experience, started in the Army Catering Corps, before Barry became Head Chef at the prestigious Vineyard restaurant in Northampton. But a career in contract catering was the calling and Barry became Head Chef/ Exec Chef for operators such as Sutcliffe Catering, Compass and Elior.  Joining Graysons Restaurants in 2008 Barry’s been instrumental in developing much of the menu output and as Executive Chef now oversees Graysons innovation, development and quality standards, A massive fan of Vegan Cuisine, meetingsclub would like to thank Chef Nichols for sharing his Roasted Carrot & and Fennel with Harissa, Black Lentils and Yogurt (v)

Ingredients: 

Serves 4 

  • 1 pound / 500g carrots 
  • 1 pound / 500g fennel (about 2 medium bulbs) 
  • 2 medium red onions 
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil 
  • 1 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil 
  • a couple pinches salt and pepper 
  • 1 cup / 250ml Greek-style yogurt (preferably goat or sheep) 
  • zest of 1 lemon 
  • pinch of sea salt 
  • 1 cup / 225g black lentils (Du Puy or French lentils would also work), soaked if possible 
  • ½ tsp. sea salt 
  • 1 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil 
  • a handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped 
  • flaky sea salt, to garnish 
  • Harissa Dressing 
  • ¼ cup cold-pressed olive oil 
  • 1-4 tsp. harissa paste, to your taste (I used 3 tsp.)
    2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • ½ Tbsp. maple syrup 
  • pinch sea salt, to taste 

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C. Scrub carrots well and slice them in half lengthwise (if they are relatively large, slice them in quarters lengthwise). Wash fennel and slice lengthwise into thin sections. Peel and slice red onion into eights. Place carrots on a baking sheet and rub with a little coconut oil. Place fennel and red onion on a separate baking sheet and rub with a little coconut oil. Place in the oven to roast for 25-35 minutes until tender and charred around the edges (the fennel and onions may take longer than the carrots, so remove carrots first if necessary). Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper. 
  2. While the vegetables are roasting, cook the lentils. Wash lentils well, drain and rinse until water runs clear. Place in medium saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook covered for about 15 minutes. Add about a half teaspoon of salt, stir and continue to simmer covered, until the lentils are tender, about 5 more minutes. Drain and rinse. Stir in olive oil and season to taste. 
  3. While the lentils are cooking, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Start with a teaspoon of harissa paste and add more to suit your taste. The dressing should be spicy, but palatable. Add the roasted vegetables and fold to coat well. 
  4. Combine the lemon zest and yogurt. 
  5. To assemble, divide the yogurt and lentils among four plates. Pile the vegetables on top, sprinkle with flaky salt, mint, and drizzle any remaining dressing over the top.