Heidi’s lentil piadina
Heidi, our marketing coordinator based in Borso Del Grappa, sent me this recipe on my first day back in the office this January. It was a lovely surprise to have a fresh recipe to try for the New Year and I have been making these for my lunches a lot recently. The lentils make a great base for the dough and they taste so damn good with a variety of fillings! Heidi used Grana Padano, a local type of Parmesan, in her original recipe, but we have been enjoying them here with New Zealand-made parmesan or pecorino with great success. She also suggested serving the toasted piadina up with a side salad, but I ignored this healthy advice in favour of more cheese!
“Five years ago I moved to Italy to be based at our Italian cooking factory. Although I always enjoyed cooking Italian food, once in Italy, I cooked less and less at home as it is so easy to eat good food anywhere in Italy! This all changed however with the arrival of our first daughter and once she started eating solids, I tried to cook a variety of healthy, balanced meals for her. One of the foods I rediscovered are lentils and nowadays our family favourites include lentil soup and lentil croquettes. Whilst starting off making lentil croquettes one day, I gave a twist to the recipe and turned them into lentil piadinas (Italian style pita bread) which were quite tasty so I’m glad to hear the Our Kitchen team tried them out and that the office in Dunedin like them too!”
- 125g red lentils
- 1 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 100g parmesan, finely grated
- 2 eggs
- Generous handful of basil and flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 120g flour
- Olive oil for frying
- To serve:
- Fresh tomatoes
- 1. Place the lentils, water and bay leaf in a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 10-12 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Discard bay leaf.
- 2. Place cooked lentils into the bowl of a food processor, add chopped onion and grated parmesan. Process for 1 minute, and then add eggs, basil and parsley and process until well combined. Season to taste.
- 3. Transfer lentil mix to a large mixing bowl and add enough flour to form a soft dough. Divide dough into 5 or 6 pieces (flour your hands to prevent it sticking), and roll out into rounds roughly 0.5cm thick.
- 4. Layer baking paper between the piadinas to prevent them sticking together and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- 5. Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add a little olive oil and fry each piadina for a few minutes each side, until golden. Drain on paper towels.
- 6. At this stage the piadinas can be stored in an air-tight container in your fridge for a couple of days until required.
- 7. To serve, slice the piadina through the middle (so you have two thin rounds), fill with prosciutto, slices of fresh tomato, cheese, and a little basil. Pan-fry or toast in a sandwich press until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.