Saturday, November 22, 2008
Vegetable and Lentil Pie
This is the kind of pie you would make for the following reasons -
1. Perhaps you feel you haven't eaten many vegies lately?
2. It's a Sunday, it's raining and you have a bottle of wine giving you 'drink me' vibes
3. You have a sweet chilli sauce addiction and you need a vessel to assist our craving
4. There are two of you in the kitchen and you feel like getting busy
Well, I answered 'all of the above' when I thought of sharing this recipe. This Vegetable and Lentil Pie recipe originates back to my vegetarian Sydney days, most likely when living with Stacey and Luke Dwyer in Camperdown. It's changed over the years - vegetables have been ditched, new vegetables have come on board. Basically, there is no rule to what you can use.
This is my latest version and this is what you will need -
2 red capsicums
2 medium zucchinis
1 bunch of English spinach
1 medium eggplant
3 large field mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
1 large sweet potato
2 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of milk
1 cup of green lentils
1 handful of parsley
1 zest and juice of a lemon
4 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 sheets of puff pastry
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
Ok, first of all, get yourself a big glass of wine. You're going to be chopping, roasting and assembling for at least a couple of hours.
Preheat oven to 180ºC
If you're cooking with a friend, divy up the following instructions, otherwise you could do it in this order -
Slice the eggplant and zucchini into 5mm slices (circles for the eggplant, lengthways for the zucchini). Place them on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the red capsicums whole onto the same baking tray. Put in the oven for approximately 15 minutes until they are browning and mostly cooked. You may need to turn them occasionally to avoid them sticking to the tray. Once cooked, set aside.
When the red capsicum skin is getting burnt and they are looking ready for the peel, removed them from the oven and place in a plastic bag for 5 minutes. Then peel the capsicums and slice thickly. Set aside.
Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into chunks and place in water in a pot. Bring water to the boil and simmer until they are cooked. Drain them, place in a bowl and mash together with 2 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of milk and season with salt and pepper. Put a plate over the bowl so the steam will keep them warm. Set aside.
Place 1 cup of lentils in 3 cups of water. Bring to boil and then simmer on low heat for approx. 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. When cooked, drain the lentils and place lentils in a bowl. Add chopped parley, zest and juice of lemon and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Slice the field mushrooms and saute in some olive oil and garlic. Once cooked, set aside.
Wilt the English spinach in some hot water and roughly chop. Set aside.
Now you should have all your ingredients ready to go for the assembly, the best part.
Grease a rectangular baking dish with butter and line with the puff pastry. Put in the oven for around 5 minutes until it gets a little light brown in colour. It may puff up (it wouldn't be called puff pastry if it didn't!) so just pop the puffs with a fork.
Now for the assembly. Again, there are no rules to the order of layering. Spread 4 tablespoons of tomato paste on the bottom, then the ricotta.
Then add layers of all the vegetables and lentils and finish with the sweet potato mash.
Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top and put in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Test with giving it a poke and making sure it's heated all the way through.
And there you have it, vegetable and lentil pie! Serve with sweet chilli sauce and more wine of course.