Here, our reporter Jean from Oldham shares her vegetarian loaf recipe for you to try out!
Jean said: “Watching the snow fall on the Tuesday after Easter, it was hard to believe that we had sat in the garden the week before eating our first al fresco meal of the year.
“Cheese and Lentil Loaf was the perfect choice for such a sunny day. Accompanied by new potatoes and a green salad, it can be eaten hot or cold.
“Be careful not to let the lentils run out of water until they are cooked through then keep stirring until they become a stiff puree. The egg and cream will add moisture, so the lentils need to be very stiff when cooked through.”
Jean’s Cheese and Lentil Loaf
- 6oz (175g) red lentils
- 12 fl oz (350mls) water
- 4oz (110g) grated cheddar cheese
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (use a small amount if you are not used to this spice)
- A little lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons single cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F 190°C.
- Rinse the lentils, looking out for twigs and stones. Cook with the water in a pan with a tightly fitting lid for 10 mins. Check them after 10 mins. They might not be cooked through but may need the water topping up, if so, only add a small amount of boiling water. Keep checking to see whether they are cooked and once satisfied that they soft, keep stirring with a wooden spoon until really stiff.
- Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the grated cheese, chopped onion, cayenne pepper, chopped parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste.
- In a separate bowl lightly beat the egg and stir in the cream, then add this mixture to the lentil mix.
- Grease a 1lb (450g) loaf tin with the butter and press in the mixture. Bake for 45-50 mins until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Leave for about 10 mins before turning out.