A summery veggie bake.
Like courgette, marrow can be both oddly exciting and boring. It is summery, grows easily in gardens and it is generous in size, yet it can be a bit bland. So I’m always a bit unsure about what to do with it. In France, we fill them with stuffing, cover them with cheese and oven bake them.
I’ve opted for a vegetarian bake this time with lentil, sweet potato, a spicy tomato béchamel and a garlic parsley crumble top. It is delicious with some lettuce and spring onion on the side.
- 300 gr. lentils
- 1 medium marrow
- 3 long sweet potatoes
- 1 big onion
- 50 gr. butter
- 100 gr. whole wheat flour
- 1/2 litre milk
- 1/2 water
- 1 tbsp. tomato concentrate
- 1 tsp. fenugreek
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. chilli flakes
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 slices of toasted whole-wheat bread for bread crumbs
- a handful finely chopped parsley
Preparation 40 minutes
Baking: 50 minutes approx. 200C
Cook the lentils in a pressure cooker with the bay leaves.
Prepare your tomato béchamel: melt the butter in a medium size saucepan on the hob. Remove from the hob, add the flour and stir. Add all the milk and put back on the hot hob. Stir constantly. It will take around 8-10 minutes for the mix to thicken. Once it has the consistency of custard, remove from the hob and add the tomato concentrate, nutmeg, paprika, fenugreek, salt and pepper.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
Oil your oven dish: grate a clove of garlic and mix it to our oil. Start with a layer of sweet potatoes sliced length way . Add cooked lentils (remove the bay leaves), cover with half of the bechamel. Add a layer of sliced onions. Then goes another layer of lentils and béchamel. Finally add the finely sliced marrow, staggering it, to cram as much as possible (count 5-7 slices per row, and around 7 rows in total).
Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes (until the marrow starts softening).
Prepare the crumble; in a blender, mix the oats, breadcrumbs, cheddar, the grated garlic, chopped parsley and olive oil.
Take out the dish from the oven and spread the crumble and bake for a further 30 minutes, until the crumble is golden brown.
Serve with a salad.