Embark on a culinary journey with the Plant-Based Winter Bake, a symphony of flavours and textures that define the essence of comfort in the colder months. This savoury creation combines the delicate crunch of finely shredded savoy cabbage with the robust heartiness of split red lentils, finely chopped garlic, and onions. The dish evolves with the marriage of tomato paste and passata (or blended canned tomatoes), enriched by the subtle infusion of vegetable stock powder and an optional touch of Tabasco for those seeking a hint of heat.
Infused with the aromatic charm of mixed herbs, this winter casserole layers the savoury blend with the earthy essence of medium to large, thinly sliced potatoes. A final touch is added with a crispy crown of freshly made breadcrumbs, ensuring a delightful contrast of textures and flavours in every bite. This plant-based marvel caters to the soul and palate, delivering a comforting experience reminiscent of warmth and wholesomeness, making it an ideal centrepiece for cosy winter evenings.
Crafted to delight the senses, the Winter Bake offers a delectable combination that captures the essence of a satisfying, heartwarming meal. Each layer of this comforting bake, from the vibrant savoy cabbage to the protein-rich red lentils, combines harmoniously with the seasoned tomato base, delivering a rich, flavorful profile. Adding vegetable stock powder and optional Tabasco amplifies the taste, while the medley of mixed herbs imparts a nuanced depth. Topped with thinly sliced potatoes and a golden crust of freshly made breadcrumbs, this dish is a beacon of warmth and nourishment, creating a delightful culinary experience during the winter season.
Plant-Based Winter Bake
- ½ lrg savoy cabbage finely shredded
- 1½ cups split red lentils
- 1 brown onion finely shredded
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups passata or blended canned tomatoes
- 1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
- tabasco sauce optional
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 4 med potatoes about 800g
- 1 cup freshly made breadcrumbs
- ½ tbsp raw brown onion
- 1 tbsp cornflour (corn starch)
- ½ cup cashews
- 1.5 cups soy milk
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp plantbased chicken style stock
- ½ tsp salt optional
- ½ tsp date paste / other sweetener (maple syrup/rice syrup)
- Heat a medium saucepan on a gentle heat, add cabbage and herbs. Place on the lid and allow the cabbage to steam in its own juices.
- Put lentils in a medium saucepan, cover by an inch of water, and add the onion, garlic, tomato paste, passata, stock powder and optional tabasco; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until cooked to a thickish soup.
- Finely slice the potatoes (use a mandolin or processor, or with a knife, about ½ cm thick) and steam for 10 minutes or until just tender.
- Make the white sauce by putting all ingredients into a blender, blending til smooth, pouring into a small saucepan and stirring constantly until thickened.
- Grease a deep baking dish or casserole dish which has a close-fitting lid e.g. Pyrex or Le Creuset)
- Layer in the dish as follows:1/3 of the potatoes1/3 of the cabbage1/2 of the lentil mixture1/3 of the white sauce1/2 of remaining potatoes1/2 of remaining cabbageRest of lentils1/2 of remaining white sauceRemaining potatoesRemaining cabbageRemaining white sauceBreadcrumbs
- Bake for 40 minutes, in a moderate oven, placing on the lid for the last 15 minutes to prevent top burning. Test it is cooked through by piercing with a knife. It should be very soft, top crisp and sauce bubbling. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.