Green bean tahini casserole with lentils and crispy turmeric shallots
100g (1⁄2 cup) puy lentils, rinsed (changed from black lentils in original)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1kg green beans, trimmed and halved
250g fresh shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped or sliced
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
90g (1⁄3 cup) tahini
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
Handful of chopped chives
Sea salt and black pepper
Crispy turmeric shallots
2 French shallots, finely sliced into rounds
2 tbsp rice flour
1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
125ml (1⁄2 cup) sunflower or other high-temperature oil, plus extra if needed
Sea salt and black pepper
Shiitake mushrooms: button or Swiss brown mushrooms
French shallots: small red onions
Rice flour: plain flour
Preheat the oven to 190C. Oil a large baking or gratin dish.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the lentils, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are just tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, make the crispy turmeric shallots. Toss the shallot rounds together with the rice flour, turmeric and a pinch of salt and pepper, using your hands to break up the rings so that they are evenly coated.
Heat the oil in a small saucepan until very hot (test with a wooden chopstick or wooden spoon; if it sizzles, the oil is ready). Add the shallot rings to the oil a handful at a time and fry until golden brown. When ready, place them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil and immediately sprinkle with some sea salt. Repeat until all the shallot rings are cooked. Allow to cool.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan and add the beans. Season with sea salt and black pepper and cook for 5–7 minutes, until the beans are tender and turning golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add another drizzle of oil along with the mushrooms and thyme and cook until the mushrooms have turned golden. Remove from the heat.
Place the tahini in a small bowl, add the lemon juice, garlic and chives
and slowly whisk in cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is the consistency of thickened cream. Season with sea salt and lots of black pepper.
Combine the beans with the mushrooms, lentils and tahini sauce. Transfer to the baking dish and bake for 10-12 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven, top with the crispy turmeric shallots and return to the oven for another five minutes. Serve immediately.
The crispy turmeric shallots can be made up to a day ahead. If you are short on time, buy ready-made crispy fried shallots from your Asian grocery store or supermarket.
The green bean casserole can be made the day ahead and topped and baked with the onions just before eating.
Other high-temperature oils include peanut or rice bran.