GROWER’S PIE

I’ve made variations of a vegetarian shepherd’s pie for a long time now. The kids loved the idea of a shepherd’s pie albeit vegetarian. I have modified the recipe over the years and this version is filling, satisfying and absolutely scrumptious even though I say so myself. I also stopped calling it shepherd’s pie and started calling it grower’s pie to reflect the meatless nature of this pie.

Grower’s pie

INGREDIENTS

For the filling:

400g tin of lentils

400g tin of beluga lentils

400g tin of kidney beans, drained, rinsed and mashed

200g onion, finely chopped

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RATATINE

Ratatine

Not a tagine, perhaps a Middle Eastern spiced Ratatouille, that is what my daughter said when I served this up for a weekend lunch. It is best eaten a couple of days after it is cooked, making it perfect as a make ahead meatless dinner. There are all sorts of spices and yes there are whole green chillies too!!

INGREDIENTS for the SAUCE

100 ml extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or use a Microplane

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PUMPKIN & PEANUT CURRY

400 grams peeled and cubed pumpkin or butternut

1 x 400 grams can of coconut milk

2 cups water

½ cup red lentils rinsed

1 x 400 grams tin of chick peas drained and rinsed

1 red onion sliced

½ head cauliflower washed and cut into florets

Juice of one lime

Curry Paste

4 tablespoons peanut butter

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 red chilli finely chopped

To Serve:

3 tablespoons coriander leaves

35 grams toasted peanuts and sesame seeds

1 lemon cut into wedges

Silverbeet Rice:

4 silverbeet leaves washed and finely chopped removing the rib

4-5 spring onions finely chopped

2 cups Basmati rice rinsed

30 grams butter or ghee

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 x 5 centimetre cinnamon pieces

Salt to taste

For the curry:

Mix all ingredients for curry paste and set aside. You can thin by adding a couple of tablespoons of warm water.

Heat oil in a sauce pan. Fry pumpkin cubes, then add the lentils. Add a cup of water and after ten minutes, add sliced onion, chick peas and cauliflower florets. Increase heat, add the curry paste and coconut milk. Stir to combine and check amount of liquid – add more if necessary. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cook for 15 -20 minutes making sure all vegetables are cooked to your liking. Finish off by adjusting seasoning. Serve immediately with the toppings or the silverbeet rice.

Silverbeet rice:

Heat half the butter (15 grams) in a large fry pan with a lid. When the butter is starting to froth, add the chopped silverbeet. Increase heat, add a half teaspoon salt and fry until the silverbeet is nicely wilted and partially cooked. Remove and set aside. Heat the remaining butter in the same pan. When frothing, add the cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. After frying about 20 seconds, add the rice and continue to fry so the rice is toasted (maybe about a minute or so). Add half a teaspoon salt and about three and three quarters cups of cold water. Stir, increase heat and cover with lid. Let it come up to the boil, reduce heat and cook without stirring for 15 minutes. Mix in the silverbeet, cover and let cook for a further minute. Once rice has blossomed and is cooked, stir in the spring onion and serve with the pumpkin and peanut curry.