Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lentil Love

I recently purchased some courgettes. I love having them on their own, steamed with a blob of soya butter, all soft and mushy. Eating them really brings back memories of my mum's cooking, when our garden used to yield copious amounts of this vegetable, along with many larger marrows! To me, a courgette is, along with butternut squash, one of my ultimate comfort foods.

Not really knowing what to do with all the courgettes I bought (apart from the obvious but rather boring Ratatouille), I googled "courgette recipes" and was also recommended another by a friend. I don't use lentils enough either, and they are usually sitting in the cupboard for months, so both recipes enabled me to use up my leftover pulses and veg.

The first recipe is for Courgette & Lentil Stew. This garlicy, tomatoey, nourishing stew is perfect for a snuggly Autumn night in. I've been feeling a little poorly lately, so soft, comforting food is very welcome. The recipe I googled wasn't very informative, merely stating to throw in, bring to the boil and then simmer :

- 2 cups of cooked lentils
- 1 can of stewed tomatoes
- Half a can of vegetable broth
- 4 small courgettes (diced)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Pinch of salt & pepper

I played around with the amounts of the ingredients a bit, and tossed in some paprika for a bit of extra taste.

The second recipe was for Lentil Spaghetti Bolognaise. I used the left overs from the recipe above, then added some stirfried onions and mushrooms, cooked carrots, extra tomato purée, and some marjoram. I served it over some wholewheat spaghetti and will be taking it into work tomorrow for my lunch. Gorgeous :)

I should have added the secret ingredient that I add to all my bolognaise dishes: CELERY! Alas I didn't have any in the fridge. Celery, grated into a bolognaise, really adds to the flavour. I know a lot of people who hate celery, but sneak it into a bolognaise and they're raving about it!

Remember, if you are cooking dried lentils it is advisable to soak them overnight (or for at least 6 hours), rinse them well, and then cook them for 30 minutes before eating.


  1. Lots of my friends rave about courgette and chocolate cake. Never tried it myself but I've never heard anyone say they *don't* like it...

  2. haha Jo that sounds disgusting... but intriguing! ;) Try get the recipe for me, I'm sure it can be made vegan. I'd be really interested to try it because I know how some things really work well together when you least expect them to - like chocolate and chilli! I've seen people making courgette muffins, which I guess are along the same lines as the chocolate cake, so it must be pretty good! x

  3. 170g (6oz) butter
    400g (14oz) sugar
    3 eggs - beaten
    2tsp vanilla essence (or use vanilla sugar)
    285g (10oz) grated courgette
    355g (12.5oz) plain flour
    75g (2.5oz) cocoa
    2.5tsp baking powder
    1.5tsp bicarb
    1tsp salt
    1tsp cinnamon
    11cl (4fl oz) milk
    170g (6oz) walnuts (optional)

    1. Cream the butter and sugar
    2. Add eggs one at a time with a little flour to stop curdling
    3. Mix in courgette and vanilla (if using)
    4. Sift in dry ingredients alternating with the milk
    5. Fold in the walnuts if using
    6. Bake in a large greased cake tin for 1-1.5hrs at Gas 4, 180 C, 350F
    7. Leave in the tin to cool for 15 mins before turning out

  4. Thank you! Hmm the only problem I see is with the eggs, but it might work without, or I could get an egg replacer. I've never used that before, so it'd be interesting to try...