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Carrot Noodles, Lentils and Wild Herb Pesto

Finally the season is back where you can go outside to the forest or fields and pick the fresh ingredients for your food yourself. While we’re still waiting for the veggies to grow we can already find some really tasty and healthy wild herbs.

If you’re not sure about which wild herbs are edible, tasty and actually good for you, get yourself a book with photos and descriptions about where to find herbs, and how to classify them. Also I highly recommend to join the "herb walk" that one of my favourite bookshops in Berlin, Zabriskie Buchladen für Kultur und Natur, is offering once in a while.

For the following recipe you can actually pick any wild herb you like, depending on the season and your taste of course.

This time I've used: Dock, yarrow, buckhorn, clover an dandelion.

For 2 persons you'll need:

3 - 4 carrots 200 g lentils 100 g mixed wild herbs 80 g parmesan (grated) 5 tsp. sunflower seeds 150 ml vegetable oil 2 garlic cloves Salt, pepper, lemon (optional), some more vegetable oil

Measure the lentils in a cup. Bring double the amount of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, carefully brown the sunflower seeds. Set them aside and let them cool down.

As soon as the water is boiling add the lentils, a bit of salt and one garlic clove. Turn down the heat and let simmer on low temperature (use a lid) until the lentils have absorbed all the water.

While the lentils are cooking, peal the carrots and cut them with a spiralizer into approx. 20 cm long “spaghetti”. In case you don’t have a spiralizer you can as well use your potato peeler – then they will rather look like ribbon noodles, but both works fine for this dish.

Check the lentils if they’re soft already. If you prefer them a bit softer just add a little bit more water until they get the consistency you like.

Now take care of the pesto. Add the herbs, the parmesan, the sunflower seeds and 150 ml vegetable oil in a high jar and mix with a hand blender into a creamy paste. Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest and garlic (both optional depending on your taste). If the paste is to thick add some more oil.

By that time the lentils should be done – pour them off in a colander and set aside.

Boil water for the carrots. As soon as the water is boiling add a little bit of salt and the carrots. Let them boil for 1-2 minutes and pour off as well.

Heat up 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil in a pan, add the lentils and carefully roast them. After 3 minutes add the precooked carrots, mix and roast for another minute.

Serve the carrots and lentils on a plate, add a tablespoon of pesto, mix everything and voilà...

Bon appétit!

text and photos: Gianna Thiess