Lucky me sharing a version of this delicious winter warming comfort food with my family in Wellington, I am having a winter break with family in the North Island of New Zealand, where the weather while still not tropical is a good deal warmer than the far south. What a bonus to share a meal and find inspiration, that is easy, healthy, delicious, and a new way of putting familiar ingredients together. Best of all – a recipe that when I cook it, will always remind me of good times spent with family.
This meal fits in with my favourite ways of eating, being quick healthy and delicious. The cup of cream I have justified as being a natural ingredient, it adds a slight richness to it but not so much as to feel decadent and you could easily sub in your favourite type of milk if you are lactose intolerant. If you need further reasons to make this – it works really well as the main event with some vegetables or a salad on the side – some fresh crusty bread is also delicious and mops up the last creamy goodness, eat it as a side to your meat of the day, and when you think it can’t give any more it reheats beautifully and makes fantastic leftovers. This recipe makes enough for four as part of a main meal but it easily doubles or more for a bigger crowd… and why not make enough for your lunch box the next day. It will make you happy!
ALMOST JUDES – LENTIL, MUSHROOM AND KUMARA ”PIE”
Enough for four people as part of a main meal
Set oven to 200’C
- 1 Tin of brown lentils (drained)
- Approx. 400 – 500 gms kumara (or potatoes)
- Approx. 250 gms mushrooms
- Approx. 4 stalks of kale (or the equivalent of any seasonal green vegetables, Jude used courgettes)
- 1 or 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1 cup of cream
- Olive oil and butter (or not) to saute mushrooms and kale and to toss with kumera
- Salt and pepper
Start by washing and cutting your kumara into 1/2 cm thick slices. Pop these into a pot of lightly salted water and bring to the boil. They don’t take much more than this to cook so keep an eye on them and turn them off once soft – it is better to slightly over cook them than undercook them but either way you are still going to enjoy a delicious dinner
Open your can of lentils, drain and tip into the bottom of your baking dish. (keep the sieve for draining the kumara)
Heat a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter if using, slice your mushrooms and once sizzling add the garlic.
Chop your kale or other green vegetables into bite sized pieces and add to the pan with the mushrooms to lightly cook.
Season and then tip all the greens and mushrooms on top of your lentils.
By this time your kumara will be well cooked so if you haven’t done so already drain well, and then in the pot that they have cooked in toss with a glug of olive oil. You can now roughly pile these on top of the mushrooms and green vegetables.
Pour your cup of cream or other milk over and put in the oven to bake for about 1/2 – 3/4 of an hour.
Enjoy straight away, or at room temperature later at your leisure.
This is a great meal that although you could get tricky and make all sorts of clever additions with cheeses and herbs or spices, works really nicely just as it is. I think I will keep the tricks for another day and enjoy this for the flavours of the ingredients as thy are.