Saturday, July 01, 2006

Lentil and Veggie Pesto Bake

This tasty pesto and lentil dish was inspired by a recipe for Lentils & Potatoes in Pesto Sauce in From a Monastery Kitchen by Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette, which calls for the lentils and potatoes to be baked in the pesto sauce.

I used lentils du Puy, those lovely French green lentils that hold their shape so well, and the tiniest Dutch Baby potatoes I've ever seen! Just this combination seemed like it would be too dry, so I added a beautiful yellow and green zucchini and mushrooms.

For the pesto, I used the Poor Man's Pesto recipe from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. But this time I took Melody's advice (in the comments of my Watercress pesto post) and used non-fat yogurt (Greek) in place of half of the oil. This really changed the texture of the pesto from oily to a creamy thick sauce. However, with the baking process, it changed back to a thinner sauce texture and tasted great! It certainly didn't taste lower in fat! I will definitely be using this trick again - thanks Melody! (Melody writes Melomeals)

This dish made a meal with some crusty baguette to soak up the sauce.

Pesto (adapted from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen) :
1-1/2 cups basil leaves
3 tbsp pine nuts
2 large cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp non-fat yogurt (I used Greek)

Process the pine nuts, garlic and salt in a mini-prep food processor. Then add the basil leaves and olive oil and process. Then add the yogurt and process.

Lentils & Veggie Pesto Bake:
1 cup Lentils du Puy
2 cups tiny potatoes
1 zucchini
6 oz mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the lentils in water until tender (about 25 minutes) and drain. In a separate pan (the lentils bleed), cook the tiny potatoes until just tender - don't overcook! (Mine only took 5 minutes of gentle boiling). Drain. Slice the zucchini and cut slices in half. Slice the mushrooms. Mix the lentils and veggies together in a large ovenproof dish. Stir in the pesto sauce. Bake for 20 minutes and serve immediately.


Anonymous Tanna said...

Balm for my soul and my stomach. I've been reading way too many sweet things and this is just soooo good. Potatoes and Lentils and Pesto! How perfect and I just made pesto! I mean it's got to happen.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Melody said...

I'm glad the yogurt worked well for you... that dish sounds amazing..

12:05 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

I am Tanna's friend and she made the pesto for our "girls road trip" and then forgot to pack it!! Anyway, any blog site that she recommend is an A+ for me. I will make it a priority to visit your site frequently. I like your focus of healthy vegetarian cuisine! And I like your writing style!

8:58 PM  
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