Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lentil loaf

250g red Lentils
500ml stock
1 bay leaf
15g butter or margerine, softened
2tbsp dried wholemeal breadcrumbs
250g grated mature cheddar (sharp)
1 leek, chopped finely
125g button mushrooms, chopped finely
90g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
2Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1Tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs beaten lightly
Salt and pepper

Put the lentils, stock and bay leaf in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the lentils have softened. Discard the bay leaf.
Meanwhile, base-line a 1kg/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. Grease with the butter or margerine and sprinkle with the dried breadcrumbs.
Stir the cheese, leek, mushrooms, fresh breadcrumbs and parsley into the lentils.
Bind the mixture together with the lemon juice and eggs. Season well and spoon into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth the top and bake in a preheated 190c/375f oven for 1 hour till golden.
Loosen the loaf with a palette knife (spatula) and turn onto a warmed serving plate. Garnish with parsley and serve with roasted vegetables.

There are countless versions of this, the meatless meatloaf. I have a favorite version that I have been making for years that uses brown rice and nuts, but I figured it was time to try a new one.

I’m glad I did, this was a really nice change. It didn’t have the meaty texture that the rice nut loaf has, but the flavor was beautiful. I used a sharp-ish cheddar, and I would recommend doing that because it seems to be where most of the flavor comes from.

The boys wouldn’t touch it at first, but when we finally convinced them to try one bite, they realized that they actually liked it a lot, and they ate their whole servings.

I liked this, and would try it again. It also made me realize that with all the variety of meatless meatloaves out there, I really need to sample some others.

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