Happy Friday (but if you’re like me, all the days seem to be blending into one long week!). Today I’m sharing a recipe that might work for those of you needing to cook from your pantry, fridge and freezer right now. Bonus? It’s vegetarian and easy to make vegan, too!
It’s a favourite in our house – one that didn’t make it into In the French kitchen with kids (too many recipes, not enough pages!) and one I recently introduced to my parents – we didn’t tell dad that this was vegetarian and his comment was that “it’s got more stuff in it than usual” – but then he ate seconds! Later, when I was back home, he requested it again! Neil, a confirmed carnivore, also loves this dish, so, I’d say this is a winning recipe!
This vegetarian version of the French classic Hachis Parmentier is a perfect dish to make with those cans of lentils you might have had hanging around for “a rainy day” (or, a pandemic). Or maybe you stocked up on frozen veggies (I always have peas and carrots in my freezer and am thankful for that these days!). Take the recipe here as a guide and use what you have. It’s a perfect “almost spring” dish – comforting but lighter… Because we all need a little comfort and lightness these days!
for the potato topping
- 800g potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2cm (1 inch) cubes
- 60mls (1/4 cup) whipping cream (35%)
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- freshly ground pepper
for the filling:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion (approx. 200g), finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 celery stalks (approx. 200g), finely diced
- 1 small carrot (approx. 100g), finely diced (OR 1/2 cup frozen diced carrots)
- 250g white mushrooms, finely diced
- 1 can (540 mLs/ 1 3/4 cups) cooked green lentils, drained and rinsed
- 250mls (1 cup) vegetable stock
- 1 tsp dried Herbes de Provence or dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
Make the filling
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook for approximately 5 minutes (until the onions are just starting to soften but not colour).
- Add the celery and (fresh) carrots, mushrooms and herbs, salt and pepper then stir.
- Cook for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms start to release their juices.
- Add the lentils and stock and bring to the boil.
- Add the peas (and frozen carrots if you are using those) and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Make the potato topping
- Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water and place on high heat. Bring to the boil and cook until the potatoes are “fork tender” (you should be able to easily mash them with a fork).
- Drain the potatoes into a colander.
- Place a metal sieve over the pot and press the potatoes through the sieve (you can also us a ricer if you have one) to remove lumps from the potatoes. Do not place the pot on the heat again.
- Add the cream and butter and use a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to combine all ingredients.
Assemble the dish
- Pre-heat the broiler to 375˚F.
- Place the filling in a deep, oven-safe casserole dish (I use a 1.7L rectangular dish), making sure to distribute the mixture evenly.
- Spoon the potatoes on top of the filling. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the potatoes to the edges.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are crispy and golden and the filling is bubbling away (you might see some of the filling peeking out under the potatoes). Depending on your oven, this might take more time or less. Keep an eye on the dish and check in after around 20 minutes.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Happy French Friday!
monthly newsletter signup!
MY BOOK! In the French kitchen with kids is out now! Click here for details and how to order!
Please note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). Thank you in advance!