Spring tapas recipe - a sneak preview to the Spanish Steps Masterclass

Our Spanish Steps masterclass is fully booked but here’s a sneak preview into the kind of thing we’ll be cooking on the night.

Green lentils with Swiss chard and crumbly sheeps cheese

Serves 6 as a starter

You can use sheeps milk curd or sheeps milk ricotta or feta. And goat’s cheese works very well too.

175g (6oz) dried green lentils, soaked overnight in cold water (or 1 tin cooked lentils drained well)
750g Swiss chard, well washed and drained
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced

1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
Juice of half a lemon
extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
150g crumbly sheeps milk cheese

To cook the lentils: Put them in a saucepan on a medium heat with plenty of water and a couple of bay leaves and bring them to a simmer. Cook gently for 20 minutes or so or until just soft but not mushy. Leave for a few minutes to cool a little then drain well. Put the lentils in a mixing bowl, add a little olive oil,, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Leave to one side at room temperature. To prepare the chard: strip the stalks out, chop them into 2 cm lengths and chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Now, heat a little olive oil in a large casserole pan over medium heat, add the sliced onion and cook gently until slightly coloured. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and cumin. Add the chard stalks and fry for a little longer until still just crunchy, then add the leaves. Mix well, put a lid on and stew for a few minutes until the stalks are tender. Add the chard and spices to the mixing bowl with the lentils and combine well with the lemon juice, some salt and pepper and a little more olive oil. Transfer to a serving dish, crumble the sheep’s cheese over the top, sprinkle with cumin, drizzle with a final slug of olive oil and serve.