Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lentil Casserole a'la The Young Ones

Who remembers the British comedy from the 1980s titled The Young Ones?  It only aired two seasons but my friends and I were... well... obsessed. It is a show that depicts the antics of four seemingly incompatible and decidedly unique guys who lived together as roommates.  It is hilarious. Not in a normal way but in a sort of sick, twisted but really funny way.

Anyway, over the weekend a bunch of us got together to do a Young Ones marathon. The first episode of the first season, titled "Destruction" begins with the "hippie" of the group preparing dinner- a lentil casserole.  Of course I had to make a lentil casserole for our gathering!  If you would like to watch this episode just click here.  Absolute classic!

You will notice, though, I failed to include the dish detergent in my version of the lentil casserole :)  It still turned out great!

Lentil Casserole

For the casserole:
1 cup lentils, rinsed
2 cups white wine
1 cup  water
2 tsp mixed herbs (I used rosemary, thyme, marjoram and tarragon)
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large carrot, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 kale leaves, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, rough chopped
1/2 cup pecans, rough chopped
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:
2 cups unseasoned croutons (they type used to make stuffing)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt to taste
1 tbsp melted vegan butter
Paprika for sprinkling (optional)

In a sauce pan add the wine, water, sugar, and mixed herbs.  Over medium high heat, bring to a boil and then turn heat down to low and simmer until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.

While lentils are simmering add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium.  Add the carrot, green onions, red pepper and kale.  Season with salt and pepper and saute until vegetables sart to soften and the kale is wilted.  Turn off the heat and and the pecans and walnuts. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Once the lentils are cooked add to a casserole dish and stir in the sautéed vegetables. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and turn the heat in the oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare the topping by putting the 2 cups croutons to a large bowl with the 3 tbsp olive oil and thyme.  Add salt to taste.  Place on top of the casserole and pour the melted vegan butter on top.  Sprinkle with paprika if desired and place back into the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.

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