Who needs meat when you’ve got this feast?
National Meat-Free Week starts tomorrow, and here Mary Berry shares some of her favourite vegetarian dishes
Wherever possible, I like to use home-grown or locally produced ingredients. I’ve always had a strong interest in how food is produced and in knowing where it comes from. At home when I was a child, my dad produced much of our own food. He kept pigs – I can remember him cutting up the carcasses on our kitchen table and my mother using the meat to make sausages. She kept hens, too, so we’d have fresh eggs, while my father grew all our vegetables, including masses of celery, which I can remember bundled up in newspaper with the green fronds poking out of the top. Like my parents, my husband Paul and I also grow much of what we eat: fruit as well as vegetables, and lots of fresh herbs – including parsley, dill, basil, mint and tarragon, a real favourite – which I use all the time in my cooking for their vibrant flavour. ‘Mary Berry: Absolute Favourites’ (BBC Books, £25), is available from Telegraph Books for £20 with free p&p (books. telegraph.co.uk; 0844 871 1514) This colourful dish is lovely servedwarm on its own with bread. It can also be eaten cold. Serves six 4 tbsp olive oil 2 large onions, chopped 1 leek, sliced 5 garlic cloves, crushed 1 red pepper, diced 250g (9oz) dried Puy lentils, rinsed 100ml (3½fl oz) white wine 600ml (1 pint) vegetable stock 1 large butternut squash peeled, cut into 2cm chunks 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 3 tbsp chopped parsley Preheat the oven to 430F/220C/Gas 7. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a deep frying pan, add the onions, leek, garlic and pepper and fry over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils, wine and stock and bring to the boil, stirring. Cover with a lid, lower the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Remove the lid for the last 5-10 minutes if there is still a lot of liquid. Meanwhile, pour the remaining oil into a large roasting tin, add the squash, tossing to coat in the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Add the squash to the lentils, season, stir in the mustard and parsley and serve hot.