Red Lentil and Cashew Nut Loaf
250g / 1½ cups cashews (coarsely chopped)
125g / 1¾ cup fresh wholegrain bread
200g / 1 cup red lentils
500ml / 2 cups vegetable stock
1 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion (finely chopped)
2 celery sticks (finely chopped)
2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
100g / 1 cup mushrooms (finely chopped)
1 tsp dried sage
2 TBSP tomato purée
40g / 1/3 cup wholemeal flour
(use buckwheat flour for a GF option)
2-3 TBSP fresh parsley (finely chopped)
½ tsp salt
1 TBSP each of pine nuts, pumpkin seeds
and sunflower seeds
4 TBSP sweet cranberry sauce
Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan) / 375F / Gas 5.
Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line with a strip of non-stick baking paper to cover the bottom and long sides. Leave a little excess paper hanging out to make it easy to lift out the loaf.(Alternatively, use a non-stick loaf liner).
Pulse the cashews in a food processor until coarsely chopped, and place in a large mixing bowl. Process the bread into crumbs, then add to the mixing bowl.
Place the lentils in a sieve and wash under running water, until the water runs clear. In a large pan, bring the vegetable stock and lentils to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the lentils have become a soft purée and all the water has been absorbed. Stir regularly towards the end of the cooking time to prevent the lentils from sticking. Once cooked, set to one side.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and celery until they start to soften. Add the garlic, mushrooms and sage, and cook for a further 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and flour, then remove from the heat.
Add the onion mixture, lentils, parsley and salt to the mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Press down and level the top. Sprinkle with pine nuts and seeds, and press them into the loaf. Spread the cranberry sauce on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes. When ready, the loaf should feel firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes, before turning out and slicing.
This loaf can easily be made in advance and stores very well. It will keep for 3 days in the fridge and for weeks in the freezer. If you’re not planning on eating the loaf in all one go, you can slice it and freeze in portions.