Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lentil Loaf

A friend of ours had us over for dinner one night and served us an amazing lentil loaf - it was cooked in a pie pan, and had a nice solid consistency. He claimed it was a British wartime recipe, a meatloaf substitute in a time of scarcity.

I kept bugging him for the recipe, but he never ended up giving it to me, and so I decided to just make my own version. It's pretty quick and easy and makes lots of leftovers.

2 cups red lentils
Water or chicken broth
Oil for cooking
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
8-10 mushrooms, cut into chunks
2 jumbo eggs

1 Tbsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp salt (or to taste)

Tasty white cheese to garnish (feta or queso fresco)
(Weird but tasty: salsa)

Pre-heat oven to 375. Boil lentils in unsalted water or chicken broth while you prep the veggies - I use about 3 cups liquid, 1 cup chicken broth and 2 cups water, but sometimes have to top it off. You're trying for a thick consistency, like a daal, not like lentil soup.

Carmelize onions in a pan, preferably an oven-safe skillet using about 2 Tbsp oil. Once the onions are getting close to done, add the mushrooms, sprinkle with some salt and cook until both are nicely cooked.

Add the spices and eggs to the cooked lentils and whomp thoroughly. Since I use a cast iron pan to cook the onion and mushroom, I just pour the lentil mixture directly into the cast iron pan and place in the oven. Alternately, you could pour the veggies into the lentils and from there into a grease pie pan.

Bake about 15 minutes, or until the loaf is firm. Serve with cheese. It feels a bit 'dry', but Melanie solved that with a bit of salsa that we had around and it was remarkably delicious. Alternatively, you could make a gravy as you might with a meatloaf.

In the pan

On the plate

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