VE­GAN PUMP­KIN AND LENTIL ‘LASAGNE’

Stanthorpe Border Post - - LIFESTYLE -

PREP 25 MINS, COOK 1 HOUR 5 MINS, 6 SERV­INGS, EASY IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

● 750g peeled and de­seeded pump­kin, thinly sliced

● 1 large (about 700g) egg­plant, sliced

● 2 tsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil ● 1 large brown onion, finely chopped

● 3 cel­ery sticks, finely chopped ● 3 gar­lic cloves, crushed

● 3 tsp dried oregano leaves ● 115g (½ cup) dried red lentils, rinsed, drained

● 2 x 400g cans diced toma­toes ‘CHEESE’ SAUCE

● 227g tub ve­gan cream cheese ● 60ml (¼ cup) al­mond milk

● 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs

(such as chives, basil or mar­jo­ram), plus ex­tra leaves, to serve

METHOD

1 Pre­heat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Line 2 large bak­ing trays with bak­ing pa­per. Place the pump­kin and egg­plant on the pre­pared trays. Lightly spray with oil. Bake, turn­ing, swap­ping trays half­way through cook­ing, for 20 min­utes or un­til just ten­der.

2 Mean­while, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion and cel­ery, stir­ring, for 5 min­utes or un­til soft. Add the gar­lic and oregano. Cook, stir­ring, for 1 minute or un­til aro­matic. Add the lentils, tomato and 250ml (1 cup) wa­ter. Bring to the boil. Re­duce heat to low and sim­mer, par­tially cov­ered, for 20-25 min­utes or un­til the lentils are ten­der and the sauce is thick. Sea­son.

3 To make the “cheese” sauce, place all the in­gre­di­ents in a food pro­ces­sor and process un­til smooth.

4 Lightly spray a 2-litre (8 cup) bak­ing dish with oil. Spread ½ cup of lentil mix­ture over base of pre­pared dish. Ar­range half the pump­kin in a sin­gle layer on top.

Top with half the re­main­ing lentil mix­ture and half the egg­plant.

Driz­zle over a lit­tle “cheese” sauce. Re­peat lay­er­ing with the re­main­ing pump­kin, lentil mix­ture and egg­plant, fin­ish­ing with re­main­ing “cheese” sauce. Bake for 30 min­utes or un­til golden and bub­bling. Top with ex­tra herbs.

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