I love this red lentil recipe. It uses split red lentils which are very quick to cook and don't require pre-soaking. The parmesan and leeks work really well with the lentils but you could substitute the leeks with another vegetable if you prefer. Mushrooms are good. Use about 2 cups or 150g of sliced mushrooms.
Another vegetarian cheese can also be used, especially if you cannot find a suitable vegetarian cheese. Strong cheeses work best though.
1 cup/225g red lentils, rinsed
1½ cups 400mls water
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small leek, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
a small can of tomatoes (200g/7oz)
4 tablespoons of grated parmesan or similar cheese
extra parmesan for shaving
2 tomatoes, sliced
1. Put the lentils and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently till cooked - about 10 or 15 minutes.
2. In another pan, heat the olive oil and gently fry the leeks, thyme and garlic in a pan for 10 minutes until the leeks are soft. Add them to the cooked lentils with the grated parmesan and canned tomatoes. Mix well and season to taste.
3. Divide the mixture between 3 to 4 individual ovenproof dishes or pour into one large casserole dish. Top with some sliced tomato and parmesan shavings.
4. Bake the lentil pie at 180C/350F for 15 to 20 minutes till bubbling and golden.
I like to cook the pies in individual foil containers if I'm freezing. If you do want to freeze, it's best to half bake the pies first in the oven - for about 10 minutes. Leave them to cool completely and then freeze. When you want to use the lentil pies, defrost thoroughly and then cook for 10-15 minutes in the oven.