This month’s recipe comes from my good friend Katherine, owner of Stable Diet bakery and cafés. Katherine doesn’t eat red meat and is a passionate vegetarian cook so I was thrilled to get this, it’s one of her favorites. It’s a real crowd pleaser, by no means difficult to make and brilliant if you’re veggie, cooking for veggie friends or family or just like to eat meatless from time to time.
Harissa paste is the backbone of its flavor. This versatile ingredient can enhance soups or casseroles or is a delicious flavoring for roast veggies, chicken or fish when combined with the oil before roasting.
Why not try a variation on this dish by cooking the basic lentil mixture and topping it with creamy mashed potato before baking.
Moroccan Lentil Pie
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp harissa paste
200g (7oz) red lentils, washed
400ml (14fl oz) vegetable stock
250g (9oz) spinach leaves, roughly chopped
50g (2oz) skin on almonds, chopped
100g (3½oz) feta cheese, crumbled
Large handful fresh coriander, chopped
3 sheets filo pastry, each measuring about 30.5cm x 38cm (12in x 15in) – we use JR Feuilles de Filo
1. Heat half the oil in a large pan over a low heat and gently fry the onion for 10 minutes. Add the harissa and fry for 1 minute more. Stir in the lentils and stock, bring up to the boil and cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are tender and the stock has been absorbed.
2. Preheat oven to 180oC (160oF fan/gas mark 4). Add the spinach to the cooked lentils and stir through the almonds, feta and coriander. Season to taste and tip into roughly 1.8 liter (3¼ pint) capacity ovenproof dish.
3. Use the remaining oil to brush the top of each filo sheet, then loosely scrunch up the sheets (tear if needed) and arrange on top of the mixture. Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Serve with a green salad.