Leek, tahini and saffron sauce with split peas and roast vegetables

The leek, tahini and saffron sauce is definitely the star here!
Not that the split peas and veg aren’t tasty, but the sauce, savoury from the tahini but with a lovely sweetness from the leeks, and an exotic earthiness from the saffron is gorgeous.
The lemon juice brings all the flavours out beautifully!
The split peas are cooked with sweet potato until very soft, making a sort of mash, then combined with yellow peppers, courgette and cherry tomatoes roasted on a very high heat so they have lovely little charred bits. It makes a great comforting base for the sauce!


Leek, tahini and saffron sauce with split peas and roasted vegetables

makes 4 servings

for the split peas
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 cm ish cubes (mine was around 500 g unpeeled)
125 g yellow split peas
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground fennel
1/4 tsp dried thyme
450 ml hot water
for the roasted vegetables
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
1 courgette, diced
240 g cherry tomatoes
1 tsp oil
salt and pepper
for the sauce
400 g leeks, sliced (I used baby leeks, but one regular leek should do it)

50 ml water
2 tbsp tahini
a small pinch of saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp water
juice of half a lemon
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees c.
Put the split peas, sweet potato, herbs and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer, partially covered, stirring every so often, until lovely and soft. Mine took 40 minutes. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon to break up some of the peas and the sweet potato.
While the peas are cooking roast the veg. Combine all of the ingredients in a large roasting tin, mixing well to distribute the oil over the vegetables. Roast for 30 minutes, turning the vegetables over once.
To make the sauce, microwave the leeks with 50 ml of water until tender. Mine took 4 minutes in total, stirring after every 1 minute burst. Tip the leeks and their steaming water into a food processor, and add the tahini, lemon juice, salt, and the saffron with its soaking water. Whizz together until well combined, but still with a little texture.
Mix the roasted vegetables into the split peas, and serve with the sauce rippled through.

By E.

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