I needed to prepare a meal for company, and challenged myself to use only what was available in the garden or our cupboards and fridge/freezer.
Root vegetables are still in the garden, so I harvested beets, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onions, and then added a yam from the cupboard, marinated them in balsamic vinegar, olive oil and maple syrup with rosemary and pepper, then roasted them for 2 hours.
A search through the pantry cupboard netted barley, and an old favourite recipe for barley and mushroom bake came to mind.
Then, I invented a recipe for lentil-walnut rolls, which I share with you today, just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving, especially if you have vegetarians or vegans celebrating with you. It turned out quite well, and although D admonishes me when I try out a completely new recipe for guests, he said, “That one’s a keeper!” For me, it’s fun to experiment, even when I can’t predict the outcome. And our company are good enough friends that they would forgive me if dinner wasn’t a success.
Recipe serves 6. Here are the deets:
Pastry: Use your favourite pie crust recipe, or mine:
Mix 1.5 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Cut into flour mixture 1/2 cup (frozen) shortening with a pastry blender until you have pea-sized lumps. Add 1/3 cup ice-cold water, and stir until the dough just holds together. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling (recipe below.)
1. In a small saucepan, boil, then simmer 1 cup red lentils in 1 cup water, 1 Tbsp. vegetable stock mix and 1/2 tsp salt until liquid is gone (about 10 minutes.)
2. In fry pan or pot, sauté in 1 Tbsp. olive oil, until translucent: 1 cup chopped onions, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, and a selection of herbs of your choice (I used sage, cumin, and tarragon.)
3. Transfer cooked lentils and sautéed onion mixture to a medium bowl. Add 1/3 cup applesauce, 1 cup steamed greens (spinach, beet greens, kale or swiss chard) drained, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, and ground pepper. Mix and cool in fridge for 1/2 hour.
To assemble and bake: Oven 425 degrees. Grease baking sheet.
1. Handling as little as possible, roll the pastry dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to a rectangle about 12″x16″.
2. Spread the lentil mixture evenly onto the pastry rectangle. Loosely roll the pastry, cinnamon-roll style. Angle-cut into six pieces with a very sharp knife. Place onto baking sheet.
3. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes, then add grated cheese on top (if desired) and reduce heat to 350 degrees to bake for 30 minutes more.
4. Serve on a bed of arugula (rocket) or spinach leaves. Drizzle balsamic reduction on top.
Our guests were so sweet to bring balsamic vinegar from a new business on the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Company, so we quickly reduced that in a cast iron pan for serving. Darned wonderful!
Now, for an unrelated garden tip I learned from Lee Valley Tools:
Tomatoes (and peppers) will ripen more quickly if these red trays are placed below the plants. As fall arrives, I bring the trays and the green tomatoes all inside to ripen.
I’m sharing on these blog parties:
Elizabeth and Co., Coastal Charm, Savvy Southern Style, Cozy Little House, The Charm of Home