This is hearty warming winter dish packet with flavour and nutrition and it makes the perfect vegan Christmas dish.
- 5 Clearspring Shiitake Mushrooms
- 2tbsp Clearspring Tunisian Olive Oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 stick celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 sprigs thyme, taken off the stalks
- 2tbsp Clearspring Soya Sauce
- 100g dry Puy lentils
- 5g Clearspring Kombu
- 2tsp Clearspring Brown Rice Miso
- 140g brown bread crumbs
- 75g ground almond, toasted
- 3tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- Soak the shiitake in 1L warm water for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Remove and discard the stalks and then finely chop the mushrooms. Reserve the soaking liquid.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion, carrot and celery for 5 minutes, now add the garlic and thyme and fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the lentils, soya sauce and then the kombu and shiitake soaking liquid.
- Let the lentils boil rapidly for 10 minutes and then simmer for a further 35 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Stir the pot every now and then.
- Now turn on the oven and set to 190C.
- Take the kombu out of the lentil pot and put in a blender with half the lentil mix and the miso. Blend until smooth and then put back into the lentil pot.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients and a good twist of black pepper and stir until all the ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Pour the mixture into an oiled 1kg loaf tin and bake for 1 hour.
- When it is ready, remove from the oven and allow to rest for a couple of minutes. Use a palette knife to loosen the edges and turn out onto a plate or chopping board.
- Serve with either onion or shiitake gravy.
If you don't have much time you can use 1 tin of brown lentils instead of dried puy. Cook the vegetables until they are tender, add the lentils, kombu and then the stock - you will need a lot less stock, simmer for around 5-10 minutes or until the lentils are just starting to become really soft then continue with the method above from step 5.
Celia Plender is a freelance food writer and chef with experience in both Japan and the UK. She has written for publications including Time Out Magazine, channel4.com/4food, goodfoodchannel.co.uk and clearspring.co.uk.
Since returning from Japan, where she worked as a chef in a Tokyo kaiseki restaurant, she has devoted more and more of her time to Japanese cuisine. As she trained in the West, she is also fully conversant with European cuisine.
She is the proud editor of two cookbooks: Dashi and Umami, the Heart of Japanese Cuisine (Cross Media 2009) and Umami World Recipes, Filipino (Cross Media 2009).
In her food writing career she has written for various magazines and websites, including www.channel4.com/4Food, where she is currently Deputy Editor, www.goodfoodchannel.co.uk, Time Out Eating and Drinking Guides, www.Eat-Japan.com and www.clearspring.co.uk. She is also a member of the Guild of Food Writers.