Could I come up with a dish that would inspire and nourish two adults, a toddler and a baby newish to solids?
BINGO. Mission accomplished. And while this is similar to other salads listed here, it's different enough to warrant fulfilling my guest's request for the recipe.
Oscar hadn't had lentils or ricotta before, but he happily consumed a fair serving of the two, mashed with some roasted pumpkin. I chose ricotta because it doesn't have any added salt - good for babies under one year.
Billie chose on this occasion to pick out the lumps of fresh ricotta. But we know she normally devours anything from the pulse/bean family. Pumpkin these days goes down if it's mixed in with other stuff, or is the only thing on offer.
And Emily and I devoured my cherry tomatoes freshly picked from the back-yard.
Here we have a meal for all. Family friendly, vegetarian and gluten-free.
SALAD FOR ALL with PUY LENTILS, PUMPKIN AND RICOTTA
1 cup French puy lentils, rinsed
1/4 pumpkin, skinned and chopped into bite-sized chunks
large handful French green beans, topped and tailed and cut in half
handful cherry tomatoes
few slabs of fresh, firm ricotta (avoid the runny stuff in the tub)
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to hot. Place lentils in small pot with 3./4 cup water and bring to boil. Turn to low and simmer with lid until water absorbed or just soft - about 20-30 minutes. Place pumpkin on oven roasting tray and rub with olive oil. Roast until soft and crispy around edges.
Steam beans until just soft. Mix lime, balsamic, olive oil and salt and pepper and stir through drained lentils, beans and tomatoes in a large serving platter dish. Top with pumpkin and slabs of ricotta.
FOR BABIES 6 MONTHS AND UP: Reserve some pumpkin and puree
BABIES 7 MONTHS AND UP: Reserve some lentils and pumpkin and mash or puree with ricotta
BABIES/TODDLERS 1 YEAR AND UP: Serve salad as is - let them pick what they like. It's all good