Kitchen Table: Herbal Lentil Loaf

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Photo by Idifranza/Courtesy of Flickr
A hot lentil loaf is a great vegetarian option.

Herbal Lentil Loaf
G. Nicholson
Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada

Serves 6

This dish makes a satisfying meal when served with a fresh salad or lightly steamed vegetables. Cook the lentils and rice the day before serving if desired.

• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
• 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
• 1 cup diced red onion
• 1 cup cooked brown rice
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 3/4 cup vegetable broth
• 2 eggs, or 3 egg whites
• 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
• 1/2 cup feta cheese
• 3 or 4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
• 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the cumin and fennel seeds, and heat for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the cayenne, lentils, onion, rice, tomato paste, and broth. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed. Cool slightly, then fold in the eggs, bread crumbs, and cheese. Spoon the mixture into an oiled loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until firm.

3. In a saucepan, combine the tomatoes and salt. Cover and cook until soft. Puree the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Strain off the juice. Return the puree to the saucepan, add the remaining ingredients except for the basil, and simmer for 1/2 hour, or until thickened. Stir in the basil.

4. Slice the loaf and serve with the sauce hot or at room temperature.

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