Baked Lentils and Mushroom Au Gratin!

 

I love cooking! I spend a lot of time researching food ¬†and am extremely interested in foods from different regions of the world. I’ve always been fond of what is known as “Peasant Chow”, a diet based on cheap, nutritious and filling food. My favorite regional cuisines are Meditteranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian.

Lentils are a spectacular food – and one of the oldest food crops grown by humans – 9,500 to 13,000 years ago. Often we think of Red Lentils in traditional Indian Dhal type dishes, but this one is a Western style Casserole type of preparation. The mushroom filling is cooked in a traditional Italian style with olive oil, garlic and parsley.

Don’t ignore this dish, I guarantee that everyone in your family will LOVE it!

2 TBS Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
2 Celery Sticks, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
250g (8 oz) Red Lentils
600ml  Water
2 TBS Soy Sauce
Salt and Pepper

Mushroom filling
25g (1 oz) Butter
250g (8 oz) Mushrooms, sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
3 TBS Parsley, chopped

75g (3 oz) Cheddar Cheese, grated

Heat oil in pan, add onion, carrot and celery and fry gently for about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, and salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or so, until the lentils are cooked.

Prepare the filling. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add garlic and sautee for a minute or two. When colored (but not brown!) remove from pan. Add mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add parsley and salt and pepper.

Place half the lentil mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish. Spread the mushroom mixture over top, then cover with the remaining lentil mixture. Top with the cheddar and bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until top is golden and bubbling.

Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed! And I’d love to hear what you thought of it!

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