Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Lentil Loaf

This is something I've always been vaguely intrigued by, especially when festivities roll around and vegetarians complain about having nothing to eat but nut loaf. I thought I'd see just what it's like to make a lentil loaf, using my handy copy of Delia's Frugal Food. I was missing half the ingredients so added a couple of beetroot, which made the colour much more cheerful. Served over a pumpkin pilaf with a generous dollop of mango chutney, it was quite decent. I think it's missing the sheer umame-ness of a meat loaf, but it's pretty tasty and certainly keeps well over the week.


  • 110g green split peas
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • a few springs of thyme
  • a couple of bay leaves
  • 175g whole green or brown lentils
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • a large onion
  • two carrots
  • a couple of small or a large beetroot
  • four fat cloves of garlic
  • a generous handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • two eggs

Put the split peas and herbs in a saucepan and cover with hot stock; simmer for five minutes; add the lentils and simmer for a further 25-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender (don't worry if there is excess water, you don't need to drain them). Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and fry in a separate pan for a few minutes; dice the carrot and beetroot and add to the pan, and crush in the garlic. Fry for a few minutes until the garlic is fragrant. Shred the parsley and add; remove from the heat. Combine the lentil mixture, vegetable mixture and Worcestershire sauce (off the heat) and stir in the eggs when cool enough not to immediately cook them (<57 C). Taste and season (mine needed around 2tsp salt and a looooong grating of pepper.) Spoon into a well-greased 450g loaf tin, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Turn out and leave to cool for a minute or two before slicing.

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