I have used a BRITA water filter for drinking water in our home for many years now. I find it hard to drink water straight from the tap any more! Despite this, I’ve never thought to cook with filtered water and when I was asked to give it a try, I thought “why not?”.
Lisa Faulkner is launching the ‘Better with BRITA’ campaign highlighting how she uses BRITA filtered water as an ingredient in cooking for the best tasting food and drink. For details of BRITA products go to www.brita.co.uk.
I was sent a booklet with five delicious looking recipes and the one I picked to try out was this smokey broccoli salad. I used BRITA filtered water to boil the broccoli and warm the lentils. I’d like to try out a blind taste test of this in the future to see if you can tell the difference in cooking between filtered and non-filtered water! I certainly can when drinking it!
I received a cool blue BRITA Marella jug. Our jug is pretty old these days – we received it as a wedding gift! The old one is a minging old grey colour as well, so this pretty coloured jug looks just lovely! I’d be quite happy to put this out on the table when serving cold drinks in the summer.
To use the filter I had to let the water run through it a couple of times as per the instructions, but after that it was good to go and it even made sounds as the water was going through!! I had to do a double take to realise it was the water jug making the noise! The water filtered through quite quickly, and I’ll be interested to see how long the filter lasts before needing to change it.
The cost of the BRITA Marella jug is £21 and comes in four colours.
Now, onto the recipe, which was delicious! I did have to tweak the recipe somewhat because I couldn’t find one of the ingredients – puy lentils in my supermarket on the day that I went shopping. So, instead I bought a can of brown lentils, rinsed them with filtered water and warmed them up with filtered water too. Along with a chicken stock cube and bay leaves.
The recipe called for sprouting broccoli which I’ve never used before. That too went into a pan to boil with filtered water.
The final step was the tasty smokey part of the dish – pancetta lardons (although I used smokey bacon, again, it was all I could find at the time of my shop!) fried with sliced red onions, garlic and fresh red chilli.
With all the ingredients cooked, I drizzled olive oil over the sprouting broccoli and placed into a serving dish with the lentils and smokey bacon mix on the top.
Hubs and I ate this for lunch as a meal in itself, although the recipe describes it as a side dish, which would be great in the summer…or in the winter to be honest! It’s one of those dishes that I feel could work in either season. Just the right amount of garlic and chilli for us and the smokey bacon mixed with the lentils gave everything such a wonderful flavour. I’d certainly make this again!
Since I tweaked the recipe I’ll be sharing my version of the recipe :) I do also plan to cook the other recipes from the booklet in the future as they all look pretty lush!
- 400g sprouting broccoli
- 1 x 400g can brown lentils, drained and rinsed with filtered water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Add a little olive oil to a frying pan and cook the bacon lardons for 8-10 minutes until cooked and golden. Add the sliced onion, garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Boil the sprouting broccoli in filtered water for 5-6 minutes until tender. Drain and add a little salt, pepper and olive oil to season to your taste.
- Meanwhile, place the brown lentils in a saucepan and cover with filtered water and crumble in the chicken stock cube. Add the bay leaf and simmer gently for 5 minutes until warmed through. Drain and remove the bay leaf.
- To assemble the salad, place the broccoli in a dish, add the lentils and the smoked bacon mix.
- Season to taste if desired with more salt, pepper and olive oil