Lentil And Vegetable Bake
This is a vegetable bake, a lentil and potato pie making use of seasonal produce. You can change the vegetables included in this recipe according to the season and what is available at your local greengrocer. It is really a bit like a vegetarian version of Shepherds’s Pie
It can be a warming winter dish with root vegetables or a great spring or summer time recipe with ‘lighter’ vegetables such as green beans, courgettes and fennel, as suggested in the recipe ingredients. Do not hesitate to use whatever vegetables you wish.
A nutritious and low cost vegetarian bake that is easy to make and makes the most of seasonal or leftover vegetables
Green lentils, rather than red, are the best choice for this dish, since they hold their shape more and stay separate from the vegetables. Red lentils are much softer when cooked, and can be quite ‘mushy’. However you could try it with puy lentils or brown lentils too – although they are a bit harder to find in the smaller supermarkets.
This is a recipe where you can make use of any stray left over vegetables, since a mix of a small amount of a variety of vegetables is good in this recipe. Or take advantage of any good offers in your local greengrocers reducing vegetables almost past their best. These kind of vegetables are always good for soup too!
Cheese in potato is a lovely addition to most potato topped recipes. In fact cheesy potato is a great standby easy, comfort meal! I generally use cheddar but you can use any cheese you have. Use up any slightly dry bits of cheese as they will be fine when grated into the mash.
Easy, Low Cost Vegetable Bake
The dish can be put together in the time it takes for the lentils and potatoes to boil and then once assembled is left to bake for 30 minutes, (or a little longer if you turn the heat down after 30 minutes), while you can get on with something else.
You can always consider getting some baking ready to go in the oven at the same time such as Scones with Sultanas for freezing or Apple Crumble for pudding! Makes good use of the oven heat!
The cost of this dish will vary according to the vegetables you use but can easily be under £3 to feed 4-6 people generously
Not Just For Vegetarians!
Lentil and Vegetable Bake is one of those vegetarian recipes that the most confirmed meat eaters will enjoy becauase it has all the characteristics of a meal that contains meat. Really warming, plenty of substance and taste and all cooked in a tasty stock. The lentils are robust enough to be a great mince substitute!
Cook Now, Eat Later Recipe
It is also suitable for putting in the fridge or freezer to be reheated at a later date. Divide it into portions for separate ready meals for one or two people. If you freeze it, defrost thoroughly before reheating in the oven.
Make it go a bit further by serving with more vegetables or beans.
Lentil And Vegetable Bake
- 200g / 7oz green lentils
- 4-6 large potatoes
- 2 medium carrots
- 300g / 10oz broccoli
- 1 fennel bulb sliced
- 75g / 3oz green beans
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 25g / 1oz plain flour
- 300ml / 1/2 pint vegetable stock
- 150ml / 1/4 pint milk
- 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
- 115g / 4oz cheddar cheese, grated
- Put the lentils in plenty of boiling water and simmer for 20-30 minutes until soft
- Meanwhile peel the potatoes and chop into small chunks
- Place in a pan of boiling water and cook for 10-15 minutes until soft
- Prepare the vegetables while the lentils and potatoes cook
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter
- Add the carrot, broccoli, and fennel
- Cook for 5 minutes until soft
- Stir in the flour and cook for one minute
- Add the stock and milk, stirring continually and return to boil
- Add the beans and cook for a minute or two
- Mash the potatoes when cooked adding a knob of butter and some milk
- Add the cheese to the potato, keeping 2 tablespoonfuls, aside
- Mix the lentils in to the vegetable mix
- Place in a large casserole dish
- Top with the cheese potato
- Sprinkle with reserved cheese
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 190 degrees C
- Serve hot