Monday, September 13, 2010

Veg it up.

In the middle of pulling out my hair, eating chocolate that I shouldn't be, spazzing at Chris for messing up my already my messy kitchen, while I attempt printing our wedding invitations, I needed to take a short break and post the new Vegetarian Shepherds Pie recipe that I just made.

I watched someone on tv make it the other morning - I tried to remember the ingredients - and then gave it a shot. It turned out to be very delicious.

The tomatoes in background are roasting as I write (3 for $5 at the RootCellar this week - go!!)

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

10 yukon gold or new white potatoes (medium sized)
1 butternut squash
1 medium sized onion
2 carrots - diced
2 celery stalks - chopped
1 cup of dry lentils
2 cups of bread crumbs
1 cup of milk
3/4 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk or cream
1 bulb of garlic
Kosher salt and pepper

For this recipe, you kind of have to do a bunch of things at once, but don't be intimidated. It's easy stuff, and everything can be timed perfectly.

Pre-heat the oven to 400. Slice the butternut squash length wise in half, season with kosher salt and pepper and place, cut side up on a baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes - or until tender. You can also roast the garlic at this time as well. Cut the top of the garlic bulb and place, the bulb in aluminum foil. Wrap it up and cook in the oven for the 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your potatoes for boiling. The thing that I love about yukon gold or new white potatoes, is that when you use them for mash potatoes, you don't have to remove the skins. The skins hold a lot of nutrients and give a nice texture to the potatoes. I add my cut potatoes to the water and then start the boiling process, with both the water and the potatoes already in the pot. Boil for about 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes or soft.

While the potatoes are boiling, add 1 cup of dried lentils to a pot with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-high and boil for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While the potatoes and lentils are boiling - saute the onion, celery and carrots in a dash of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Place them all in a saute pan and saute over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Don't let the carrots go too soft - so you may want to keep an eye on them.

When the potatoes are done, drain them and put them in a large bowl. Using your potato masher, mash the potatoes. Season with kosher salt and pepper.

Remove the garlic from the foil, and squeeze the cloves in the potatoes. Add the goat cheese, the melted butter and the milk. Mash everything together and set aside.

Remove the squash from the oven and gently peel off the skins with a knife. Cut the squash lengthwise in half, and then in half the other way. And then cut into thin strips.

For the breadcrumbs, I didn't have any. I used 6 pieces of bread, I placed them on a cooking sheet and broiled on high for 2 minutes each side. I removed them from the oven, cut off the crusts and then chopped each piece into small squares. I placed them in a bowl with the milk and let the milk absorb all of the bread.

Breathe - you're almost there.

Now time to assemble.

Mix the breadcrumbs, lentils and carrot/celery mixture together. This was my favourite part. Place this mixture into the bottom of a large casserole dish.

Add a layer of the butternut squash.

Then add the mashed potatoes.

Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.

And voila - vegetarian shepherds pie.

I loved this dish. I loved how the lentils tasted so rustic and hearty. I loved the softness of the squash. And I loved the roasted garlic and goat cheese in the potatoes.

Chris rated this a 5 (5+ with ketchup - but I think that is sacrilegious).

I will definitely make this again.

Alright - I have to run - off to get some z's.



No comments: