Hello neighbors! This vegetarian dish has been a favorite of ours for decades, but unfortunately I had to wait till I could get a hold of gluten-free bread crumbs before I could enjoy it once again. If you live in the U.S. you do not have this problem: I have seen gluten-free panko crumbs in our son’s local supermarket. Here in France where we live there is no such ingredient, however, so I had to resort to a method I am glad to share with you. I buy “Pain des fleurs” type crackers and turn them into crumbs the old fashioned way, crushing them with the bottom of a glass on top of a wooden cutting board. Putting them in a food processor is too brutal, you end up with a powder rather than crumbs! I have also learned that the crushing process is much easier if the crackers first go in the oven at a very low temperature ( 80°C / 175°F max), and that they keep well in a tightly-closed jar at room temperature.
I pack this loaf with vegetables (carrots and celery or fennel) as well as walnuts, which means I don’t bother serving it with anything other than a green salad on the side. To be prepared ahead of time so you can eat it warm or cold as you like.
Ingredients (for one loaf, 6 to 8 servings)
– some olive oil
– 200g celery stalks or fennel, or a combination of both, diced
– 200g carrots, washed and brushed
– one garlic clove (optional)
– 250g green lentils
– approximately 750 ml water
– ¾ tsp coarse salt
– 40 to 50g chopped walnuts (about 12 walnuts)
– 2 nice eggs (total weight in shell 130g)
– 75g gluten-free bread crumbs (see explanation above)
– 1 TBSP tomato paste
– natural sea salt, or himalayan pink salt, to taste
1. Heat up some olive oil in a large saucepan, add 200g diced celery stalks (or fennel), along with 200g coarsely grated carrots (I grate the carrots manually directly over the saucepan). When the celery becomes translucent, add 1 pressed garlic clove if desired, 250g green lentils and 750 ml water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover. Cook on very low between 30 to 35 minutes, depending on the lentil variety. Add ¾ tsp coarse salt after the first 15 minutes.
2. While the lentils and vegetables are cooking, chop 40 to 50g walnuts, set aside, and beat 2 eggs in a separate bowl.
3. Strain the cooked lentils and vegetables through a colander and pre-heat your oven to 190°C / 375°F. Let the lentils cool down slightly before adding 1 TBSP tomato paste, 75g gluten-free bread crumbs, and the beaten eggs. Combine well, then taste and add more salt if need be.
4. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes. You may want to cover the loaf with parchment paper or foil after 30 minutes.
This loaf is easier to slice after it has cooled down. I always serve it with a green salad, and sometimes have it with a little homemade mayonnaise on the side.
Well, dear neighbors, autumn is well on its way, isn’t it? Around us in our garden and in the countryside some bushes are vibrant with color. Let me share some photos – I hope you will forgive me for not remembering the names of these plants.
I have been wondering how many more photos I can add to my Media file on WordPress without having to upgrade my account. What other possibilities do I have? Can any of my neighbors help me on this? I looked into Imgur but they want my phone number so I am a little reluctant to go with them. Any suggestions? Take care, everyone, and stay safe!