This recipe is not just for vegetarians, but for families who sometimes like a cottage style pie without the meat. This is a tasty and easy recipe, satisfying when you want comfort food.
2 large baking potatoes – peeled and cut into 2.5 cm pieces
2 large sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into 2.5 cm pieces
Milk and butter or cream
Sea salt and white pepper
Optional – pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 whole unpeeled garlic cloves – cooked in boiling water until soft, when cool squeeze out pulp
100 grams puy lentils
1 red onion – peeled and chopped
2 banana shallots – peeled and finely sliced
2 medium sized carrots – peeled and finely chopped
1 celery heart – rinsed, finely diced (if leaves are fresh, chop finely and include these)
6 Morel mushrooms – cleaned, trimmed and sliced
1 sweet Spanish long red pepper – trimmed, seeds removed, cut into matchsticks
1 sweet Spanish long yellow pepper – trimmed, seeds removed, cut into matchsticks
1/2 to 1 tsp paprika
4 ripe Italian plum tomatoes – peeled, seeded and finely chopped or sieved
100 ml dry white wine
100 ml vegetable or chicken stock
100 grams Asiago d’allevo cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano, finely and freshly grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, amount to taste
- Preheat oven to 180ºC; 160ºC fan; 355ºF, gas mark 4.
- Cook the garlic cloves in boiling water until soft, when cool squeeze out pulp and mash, put to one side.
- Cook both types of potatoes in boiling salted water until tender – drain, put through a ricer or mash. Add butter and milk or cream, warmed until the butter has melted, and seasoning to taste (including a pinch of nutmeg – optional), whisk until combined.
- Meanwhile – check the lentils, remove any foreign objects, rinse under cold running water and cook according to packet instructions.
- Fry the onion and shallots in olive oil until translucent, not browned, add the garlic pulp and stir until combined.
- Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms and peppers, cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the paprika, cook for 2 minutes then stir in the tomatoes.
- When the lentils are ready, drain, add to the vegetable mixture along with the wine and stock, stir then season to taste.
- Transfer to the prepared ovenproof dish, add the topping, dot with butter and bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, scatter over the grated cheese, return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned.
- Serve with fresh seasonal vegetables.
- mixed root vegetable mash – celeriac, celery, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips./li>
- potatoes or sweet potatoes – cooked while in boiling salted water until not quite ready, allow to cool then slice using a mandolin (or very sharp knife – thinly), arrange over the fillings, overlapping the slices a little, drizzle with melted butter and cook as above.
- cauliflower mash or cauliflower and celeriac mash.