Cheesy Puy Lentil and Squash Bake
“Spoon through the crunchy top into the creamiest, most delicious lots of lentils you could ever hope to encounter. Squash and almonds are a popular pair in Provence and the north of Italy, and of course sage and squash are great mates, in combination with the earthy Puy lentils, this bake has it all. I used butternut, but you can use any type of squash or pumpkin and parsnips would work too. Or, to speed things up, you could do a version of this by replacing the squash and the work involved with 2 pouches of chestnut puree.”
By Alex Mackay
Suitable for gluten-free and vegetarians
- 250g Dried Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils
- 2 large red onions, peeled, quartered lengthways and finely sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
- 30g unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp water
- 750ml vegetable stock
- 1 small squash approx. 1.2kg
- 50g flaked almonds
- 125g grated gruyere or cheddar cheese
- 1 small bunch of sage, leaves picked from the stalks, slice the large leaves finely and keep the smaller ones for the topping
- Salt, curry powder (if you don’t like curry, use black pepper)
1.Preheat your oven to 220c/Gas 7 rack position top shelf
2.Get a medium seized saucepan that you have a lid for. Add the onion, garlic, butter and water. Cover the pan, sweat for 8 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan. Simmer gently for 25 minutes until the lentils are tender. Turn off the heat. Leave the lentils to sit for 5 minutes
3.While the lentils simmer, peel the squash, cut it in half and remove the seeds. Cut each half into 8 wedges and cut each wedge in half. Simmer in salted water for 12-15 minutes until the squash is tender. Drain the squash
4.Add the squash to the lentil mixture. Puree one third of the squash and lentil mixture in a liquidiser until smooth. Fold the puree back into the lentils. Add the sliced sage. Season to taste with salt and curry powder
5.Spread the mixture into an ovenproof dish. Mix the almonds with the gruyere and the small sage leaves. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the lentils and squash. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes until it is golden on the top and bubbling around the outsides
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