Recipe of the Week: Warming Lentil Bake
When the weather takes a turn for the worse, you know it’s time to start making some hearty dishes, and this lentil bake is our favourite. Topped with creamy mashed potato, this recipe makes the perfect winter warmer.
- 250g lentils – puy work best, but green or brown lentils are also fine
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 3 chestnut mushrooms
- Garam masala spice mix
- Soy sauce
- 5 medium size potatoes (for mashing)
- 1 pack of pancetta (optional – completely vegetarian without)
- Cheddar cheese
- First, you need to get your lentils and carrots cooking. Pour all of the lentils into a large sauce pan, along with the peeled and sliced carrots. Cover with cold water and leave to simmer gently.
- Meanwhile, peel and chop your potatoes. Add to a pan of water, season with salt and allow to simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until soft enough to mash.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180°C
- Add some oil to a large dish (we used an oven and hob safe pot, but a frying pan is fine), and allow to heat up. Meanwhile, finely slice all of your remaining veg. You can add or take anything from our ingredients list to your tastes.
- Gently fry the onion, and once soft, add the celery. Once this is softened, add the pancetta, and once mostly cooked finish with the mushrooms.
- When all of the veg is cooked, add the tinned tomatoes, and a few teaspoons of garam masala, and leave to gently simmer. As your mix cooks, add a few teaspoons of soy sauce, or Worcester sauce also works well.
- Whilst this is simmering, get your potatoes mashing. We used a big knob of butter, a splash of milk, and plenty of salt and pepper, but you can make it however you prefer.
- Check your lentils are nice and soft, drain and add them to the tomatoes and veg (or the other way round if you opted to use a frying pan). Cover and allow the mixture to simmer for another five minutes, until it’s nice and thick. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
- If you are using a large saucepan, add it all to an oven safe baking dish. If, like us, you used an oven safe dish from the start, you’re ready to top with mash! Even distribute over the top, creating fluffy pikes with your fork.
- Add the grated cheese and pop in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until the cheese starts to turn golden.
- Serve alone or with some green veg of your choice!