The festive season and family gatherings are all-inclusive, filled with love and warmth until they have to cook for the lone vegetarian. You can hear David Lamb let out an “Uh-Oh” as it all starts to feel like an episode of Come Dine With Me about to go wrong.
Christmas is a time for everyone to come together and bond over a sumptuous meal prepared and shared out of love – no matter your dietary preferences. With that in mind, we have found a great and super inclusive recipe, thanks to Delicious Magazine. We bet you a few non-vegetarians will go for seconds too!
Mushroom and lentil bake with tahini crust
The rich mushroom and beluga lentil ragù is topped with a cheesy tahini crust and served with a sharp pickled red onion salad.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large celery stick, chopped
- 300g mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp baharat spice mix or ras el hanout spice mix (or spice mix of your choice)
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 vegetable stock pot/cube
- 2 x 250g packs of cooked beluga lentils
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
For the topping
- 6 tbsp tahini
- Juice 2 lemons
- 2 medium free-range eggs
- 50g vegetarian/vegan hard cheese or feta
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- Large handful of fresh flatleaf parsley leaves chopped
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry pan
- 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
You’ll also need:
- Medium to large baking dish, roughly 1.5 litres
How to prepare
- Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan, then fry the onion, carrots and celery over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped mushrooms, season well with salt and black pepper and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Stir in the tomato purée, the spice mix, soy sauce and the stock cube/pot, then stir over the heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the lentils and chopped tomatoes. Fill the tomato can with water, then add that to the pan, along with the pomegranate molasses. Simmer for 15 minutes until rich and saucy. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
- For the topping, mix together the tahini, half the lemon juice, 100ml cold water, the eggs and most of the cheese in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, mix the red onion with half the remaining lemon juice and a good pinch of salt, then set aside.
- Pour the mushroom and lentil mixture into the baking dish, then pour the tahini topping over the top. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and set on top.
- Just before serving, rinse and drain the red onion, then mix with the parsley, pine nuts, the remaining lemon juice and pomegranate seeds in a medium bowl. Scatter this mixture over the bake, then serve.