Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - Lentil Wellington

We had some friends over for a dinner party over the weekend.  And I have a tried and true recipe I use for a vegetarian main when I want to impress... a vegetarian wellington.  The filling can be adjusted for the season, but I generally like to use some sort of lentil filling in colder weather.  It makes a nice, hearty vegetarian entree that looks beautiful and tastes great.  Sadly, I again forgot to take photos until the dish was almost done.

The original recipe is from the BBC.  Makes 4 servings.

5 oz lentils (I used green lentils, you want ones that will retain their shape when cooked)
1.5 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp sugar
1 large lemon
1 tbsp rosemary, chopped finely
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Heat a pan over a moderate heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, and turn the heat to low. Add the sugar and cook until well caramelized, stirring occasionally. This can take quite some time.  I think I ended up cooking the onions for 45 minutes or so.  Preheat the oven to 425.

2. Put the lentils and water in a pan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until soft - about 15 minutes. You may have to add a little more water while cooking if the lentils seem to be too dry, but don't add too much as the lentils should be thick. Add salt to taste. 

3. Stir the caramelized onions through the lentils, add the lemon zest and juice, rosemary and black pepper. Chill in the refrigerator

4. Lay the thawed puff pastry flat on a baking sheet. Spoon the lentil mixture down the middle in a thick sausage shape, leaving a border at each end. Wrap the pastry around the filling and press the edges firmly together. Seal the ends of the Wellington. Roll the pastry over so the seam is underneath. I had way too much of the lentil mixture so I only put about half of it in the pastry and served the rest outside the pastry.

5.  Brush with beaten egg (optional, it's just for color) and then slash with a sharp knife several times diagonally.  I slashed three times so it would be easy to divide the pastry into 4 servings.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until deep golden and puffed all over. 

I served it with some green beans sauteed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I've made different variations of this. For example, I've done lentils with mushrooms and parmesan instead of the caramelized onions and lemon.  Or in the spring I've done asparagus and goat cheese.  There are a lot of possibilities and it's a wonderful dish for a special meal.

I'm linking up with Lean Lena for Tasty Tuesday and will be linking up with Deborah and Tina for Meatless Mondays.