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

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Food & Drink -

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.

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