The carrots we have been buying the last week are so sweet and full-flavoured, that it’s been a carrot week for us here – and just before that changes, I am dedicated and addicted to the flavour of these wonderful ‘veg friends’. I have combined them in a way that promises you an awesome combination of flavours, and in this recipe the lentil topping wonderfully compliments the filling. This dish tastes wonderful with a nice green, and crunchy salad of your choice.
Just a little tip – boil your lentils a few minutes in advance of making this dish to speed the process.
INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING
- olive oil for frying
- 5 large mushrooms roughly chopped
- 1 leek chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped (steam carrots first if they are tough)
- lots of dried garlic (about a tablespoon)
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp vegan margarine
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp coriander seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup of petit pois (frozen peas)
- ½ cup of water
INGREDIENTS FOR TOPPING
- 1 cup of orange lentils. Wash thoroughly, then boil until soft. Drain & set aside.
- 1 onion very finely chopped
- ½ cup of soya milk
- 1 tsp marmite (or equivalent)
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- zest of a lemon
- a squeeze of lemon
- sprinkle of salt
- a few breadcrumbs (optional)
- a few slices of vegan ‘cheese’
METHOD FOR SAUCE
In a non-stick saucepan, fry your leeks, mushrooms and carrots on a low heat, stirring frequently until they cook and soften (as I mentioned earlier, if your carrots need a little steaming first, do so). Now add the tomato puree and the vegan margarine, mix and stir in the peas and chopped tomatoes, and allow to cook for 10 minutes or so. Next add the remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for around 30 minutes or until the mixture is nice and thickish – you still need a little liquid in it, but not runny. Finally set aside, grease a glass or pyrex dish, and turn the vegetable mixture into it.
METHOD FOR TOPPING
After the lentils are boiled and drained, fry the onion until soft. Then add the marmite (yeast extract) to the mixture, stir for a minute or so and add the lentils. Stir, and finally add the milk and the rest of the ingredients, except for the vegan cheese and breadcrumbs. Your topping is ready when it has a thick consistency, really, somewhere between runny and thick. When it has reached that stage, add your vegan cheese (if using) onto the veges in the dish, and then spoon on the lentil mixture. Sprinkle a few breadcrumbs and the lemon zest, and give the topping a squeeze of fresh lemon. Now bake in a hot oven until golden and crunchy on top – usually around 30 minutes. Enjoy !
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