This recipe was submitted in the Canadian Lentils Recipe Challenge. It won best in ‘Freestyle’ category.
Believe it or not, I’ve never actually tried to sit down and suss out an entire recipe from scratch. I don’t know why, but I’m going to venture a guess; I think it’s because I can really find anything I want to cook on the internet these days. My usual habit is to have an idea and automatically try to search for an online recipe to make it happen. I rarely follow the exact recipe but never is the idea entirely my own either.
When I had a look at the Canadian Lentils Recipe Contest and started to brainstorm, virtually every idea I came up with had been done in some way or form. Then I got worried that maybe there are so many ideas floating around that there may be no more room for original thought anymore. After I thought a bit more I wondered if anyone had ever tried making a quiche crust out of lentils. I know there are people out there (including my sister) that favour gluten free diets and some of these people can get crazy creative. I searched and found several recipes for quiche crusts and one in particular sparked an idea in my head. The crust was indeed, made mostly of lentils and the filling had lovely orange chunks of sweet potato. I got a bit sidetracked as I then started searching for a recipe with the crust made of sweet potato…and found one! Right then and there I decided to take both of these ingredients and combine them to make a lighter, crumbly sweet potato and lentil quiche ‘pastry’crust.I’m going to stop here and say that this entire recipe was designed with my sister in mind. Her special dietary needs have been a large part of her life for the last two years. Her health has greatly improved from a low gluten/low refined sugar/low GI diet. I’ve been telling her for a while now that I would try to create some recipes that suit her diet so I want to dedicate this recipe especially to her. Love you sis!
To begin the ‘pastry’ crust I washed and boiled 125 g of red lentils in double that amount of water until they formed a thick paste. Using my food processor I shredded one half of a medium sweet potato with the large shredder disk, then used the small shredder disk on the other half.
As the lentils cooled, I wrapped the shredded sweet potato in some cheese cloth and twisted the end until juice came out. I did this a couple of times until I thought they were dry enough to combine with the lentils, salt, pepper, dried dill, coconut oil, and almond meal. I wasn’t sure how sticky the mixture would be so I played it safe by lining the sides and bottom of a spring-form pan with baking paper and also buttering the paper. I pressed part of the mixture into the bottom of the pan then around the sides. Because there was still a large amount of water in the sweet potato, I ended up baking the crust for around an hour. After the first 20 minutes I covered the edges with foil to prevent them from getting too dark.I had to think for a while about what kind of quiche I wanted to fill the shell with. Since the shell had a lot of flavour on it’s own, I wanted subtle ingredients that wouldn’t stand out too much and would encourage the lentil and sweet potato crust to shine. I decided that peas and feta would be delicious and that adding more dill would amplify the taste of the dill already in the crust.Unfortunately my sister doesn’t live nearby so she didn’t get to try the quiche. My family did (with much trepidation) and they were were really surprised at the lightness of the crust and enjoyed the quiche flavours that I paired with it. I was really happy because the last time I tried to feed them quiche for dinner there was almost a riot because it was ‘meatless’. Either they have grown up a bit and their tastes have changed or they just plain enjoyed this unique dish. Or both.
Lentil and Sweet Potato ‘Pastry’ Crust
125 g lentils, double the water and boil until a thick paste. Cool.
1 medium sweet potato, 1/2 grated small and 1/2 grated large. Place in cheesecloth and squeeze to get water out. You may have to do this several times.
1 tsp each Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp dried dill
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup almond meal
Place all in a bowl and mix together.
Preheat oven to 400. Soften butter and rub on inside of springorm pan. Cut a baking paper circle to fit the bottom of the pan and one or two long rectangles for the sides. Stick rectangular paper to sides making sure one edge overlaps the bottom of the pan (you will have to do this with the pan sideways). Place bottom into the pan and snap closed. Place paper liner into the bottom of the pan and grease the paper with butter.
Press mixture into pan starting at the bottom and then on the sides. Make sure to press down firmly. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven. Bake for 40-60 minutes until it is nice and dried out. You may need to put foil on the edges so they don’t burn.
2 tbsp greek yoghurt
60 ml heavy cream
1 tbsp dill
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups peas, thawed and dried
1 cup crumbled feta