Monday, November 15, 2010

Pit Stop

The road trip will resume tomorrow, but I just wanted to take a quick pit stop to post Sunday's dinner. It  was kind of yummy and I think I'll make again in future. This was a layered potato casserole with lentils, mushrooms, and walnuts...potato-lentil lasagne?  If I make it again, I'll make some sort of sauce (maybe a red wine sauce) to go with it, but on Sunday, we just drizzled balsamic vinegar over it.

On the side, we had some roasted kabocha squash, steamed kale with garlic and golden raisins and a mesclun salad.

It started with a rich lentil stew: I sauteed onion, carrot, and celery, a bay leaf or two, and a pinch of red chili flakes, then tossed in some Puy lentils and a few cups of veggie broth, and let it cook until tender. I added some parsley, some whole-grain Dijon mustard, and plenty of red wine about halfway through cooking. Then added salt and pepper to taste.

Here's a murky picture of the lentils cooking:

While the lentils simmered, I sauteed some chanterelle and crimini mushrooms, tossing in walnuts and parsley at the end.

Next, I layered the lentils and the mushroom/walnut mixture in a baking dish with thinly sliced potatoes. I spiked about 2 cups of veggie broth with some horseradish and nutritional yeast, poured it over the top of the casserole, covered it in foil and baked it in a 350 F oven for about 1 hour. About 5 minutes before taking it out of the oven, I removed the foil and sprinkled some ground walnuts over the top.

All tolled, it took about 2.5 (relaxed) hours from stove to table, but was fine for popping in and out of the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. 

Back tomorrow, when the road trip arrives in Hungary.


  1. This looks great! There's something very dramatic about layered dishes. Plus, lentils, mushrooms, and potatoes? Yes, please!

  2. That really does sound tasty, very French and elegant. I second cadryskitchen, lentils and potatoes are a match made in Heaven. Plus walnuts for decadence...I'd add mushrooms to the list, except I o.d.'d on them yesterday and have a mushroom hangover today. Another very cool collage, btw!

  3. Those chanterelles look beautiful! What a great casserole although it looks so much prettier than a casserole. This is such a cold weather dish. yum!

  4. I love lentils. I swear you can do so much with them. They're not only useful in soups, as I once thought. I have never seen it used in a casserole though, this is a first. Looks wonderful and I love how you added chanterelle mushrooms. Really beautiful dish!

  5. potato-lentil lasagne. you come up with he greatest names ever:)

    so you started cooking the lentils after the carrots and other veggies? dont they take a long time? (not questiong the master! just wondering!lol)

    do you ever think that certain foods will be EVEN better the next day? this looks like it would be like that.
    ...and the steamed kale, im trying to ge into kale.

  6. that is some amazing work with lentils! and a potato lasagna, what's not to love? i think this deserves a proper recipe and a wine sauce to boot. super yum!

  7. This looks so good, Rose! Mike loves mushrooms & potatoes, so this is right up his alley. I'll have to show it to him. :)

  8. This sounds great — lentils, potatoes and mushrooms are favorites. I love the layered assembly — very elegant.

  9. I'm glad you did a pit stop, because this sounds sooo good! It looks so perfect on your plate are the master at plating foods!

  10. That looks and sounds amazing. I love how you impart so much flavor in every layer of your food.

  11. Cadry

    ..."There's something very dramatic about layered dishes"...good point, I totally agree! :)


    Mushroom hangover eh? I think I've had a few of those before too. Sometimes, I go through phases with mushrooms, mushrooms, mushrooms, then after I feel "all mushroomed out" for a while.


    It is a nice wintery dish, suits the weather here. Where you are, sounds like you're still enjoying some warm days.


    Lentils are really versatile, I agree. After chickpeas, they are my favorite legume.


    So you like the potato-lentil lasagne name? Great, that's what i'll call it then.

    As for the carrots, celery etc...I just sauteed them before adding the lentils...I thinkthe veggies get a little more flavorful sauteed first, then they cook down with the lentils...

    and you're right, this was really good as leftovers the next day too...we ate it with Dijon mustard on the side. : )

    miss v
    I think you're right: i'm going for the wine sauce next time for sure. : )


    Thanks! I agree, mushrooms and potatoes just go together.


    Thanks! The walnuts added nice flavor and texture too...I think chestnuts would be good also.

  12. Michelle (not DirtyDuck)

    Just put that to disambiguate between you and DirtyDuck Michelle...

    Thanks for your sweet words...I actually thought of you when I put the plate together, because I think I remember you saying that you like to keep individual items separate on the plate...did I remember that right?


    Thanks! I love to add red wine and mustard to lentils done this way; I think the wine especially gives it a rich flavor.

  13. That is a great looking casserole. Sometimes I like to cook things like that on Sundays, as long as they taste worth the time that goes in them. This looks like a winner. Be sure to share the sauce if you do this again.

  14. You sure know how to do a pit stop right. I just had potato pizza tonight which I'd never had so now I'm interested in anything with thin potato layers.

  15. WHAT?! This is very disheartening! I thought you would eat all Hungarian food all the time;-( This is such a bummer. Pit stops not allowed during the MOFO Road Trip!

  16. PLUS: "Disambiguate"?! They're Michelle1 & Michelle2. Just like Thing One & Thing Two.

  17. Shen

    All Hungarian, All the Time! Ok. Sorry to bum you out. :P

    Thanks for the DD Michelle1?

  18. Yes, she was the first Michelle on the scene.

  19. Thank you for adding yet another reason (excuse?) to get myself a mandolin!

    Oh man, potatoes, mushrooms and lentils - three of my all-time faves and a pretty sexy ménage à trois for pit stop food! :-)

    And I had the same reaction as SV - "Disambiguate?" Wow, bonus points for that one, my erudite friend! ;-) I have to tell you, it totally threw my Apple Dashboard dictionary, I had to go here to look it up!

  20. Laurie

    I think disambiguate came to mind, because I see it when I use Wikipedia (such is my erudition LOL) ... a lot of searches return a list of "disambiguation pages" topics that may sound similar, but are different. :)


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