This evening, I was in search of a hearty, warming, and extra-filling dinner to be paired with fresh-from-the-stalk Brussels Sprouts that Esther brought home from California and spicy mashed sweet potatoes leftover from Thanksgiving.
My sister, Jenny, suggested trying out a lentil loaf. While time consuming, it was totally fun and worth the experiment! Not perfect, but pretty tasty! Apologies that it looks so unappetizing..I promise it was good!
Check this out:
1.5 c. Dried French Lentils
3 c. Water
1 T. and 1 T. Tomato Paste (separated)
2-3 Bay Leaves
1/2 Onion, diced
2 stalks Celery, diced
1/4 c. Cherry Tomatoes, halved
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 T. and 2 T. Dijon Mustard
1/2 T. Herbes de Province
1/4 T. Cumin
1/4 T. Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
1-1.5 c. Breadcrumbs (potentially less to avoid dryness)
Prepare the lentils in water with 1 T. of tomato paste mixed into the water and the bay leaves. While the lentils are cooking, in a medium sized skillet on medium-high heat, sauté the onions, garlic, and celery until the onions become translucent and golden. While they are cooking, add in the dijon mustard, the other T. of tomato paste, the herbs and spices. Then fold in the cherry tomatoes. Once cooked through, pour into a mixing bowl.
Drain the lentils and pick out the bay leaves. Pour in the lentils into the mixing bowl and mash ‘em up! Add the remaining dijon mustard. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the eggs and breadcrumbs into the lentil mixture until it becomes cohesive. Pour in about 1 T. of olive oil.
In a heavy pan, either sprayed/brushed with oil, form your loaf. Bake the loaf at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Then bake at 400 degrees for another 5-10 minutes.
Take out the loaf and let it stand for a couple minutes so it’s cool enough to cut. Slice it up and serve!
I have to say, this loaf was extremely flavorful, but did lack a good amount of moisture. I think it can be remedied with less breadcrumbs, more olive oil, maybe some mushrooms, and a beautiful tomato glaze. I ended up whipping up a glaze for my leftovers with some tomato paste, soy sauce, dijon, apple cider vinegar, and a dab of honey, but use the glaze of your choice! Even a sweet ketchup glaze would be yummy!