Warming vegetarian options

As Lent continues it is an ideal time to work with vegetables says RODDY DAMALIS


Lentil and Sweet Potato Pie

This pie is one of my favourite winter meals that is enjoyed by vegetarians and meat lovers alike. This recipe is a versatile one, as the sweet potato topping can be made individually as an accompaniment to any meat main dish, especially pork.

The lentil filling can also be made into a soup by adding more water, tomato paste and spices.

As it is quite labour intensive, I tend to make a larger quantity and either freeze the filling on its own, or I prepare individual completed portions in oven proof ramekins to be used when needed.







Ingredients for lentil filling

250g lentils

250g carrot (cut in small cubes)

350g celery (small cubes)

350g onions (small cubes)

100g red peppers (small cubes)

250g pumpkin (small cubes)

100ml olive oil

150g tomato paste

50g organic vegetable stock

2 tsp curry powder

2 tsp coriander powder

2 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp sugar

¼ tsp chilli flakes


salt & fine black pepper

Ingredients for potato topping

500g potato

500g sweet potato

100g dairy free margarine

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

salt & fine black pepper



For lentil filling: brown onions, then add carrot, celery, pumpkin, red pepper & spices. Continue to brown.

Boil lentils in unsalted water until half cooked (approx. 30’).

Discard water. Replenish with fresh water & add the browned vegetables & tomato paste. Bring to a boil & allow to simmer.

When lentils are fully cooked & sauce is thick & aromatic, add vegetable stock & salt. Remove from heat & allow to cool.

For potato topping: boil potatoes together until very soft. Strain & retain little water to add whilst blending.

Blend in food processor adding other ingredients until very smooth.

Place lentil filling in deep ovenproof dish. Cover the lentils with potato topping. Bake uncovered at 180C for 30 minutes.



recipes2Courgette and Skordalia

These crunchy courgette bites are great as a pre-dinner snack or a plated starter. They must be made and served immediately. To make things easier, have the following pre-prepared: the seasoned flour, the courgette sliced, a basin of cold water, the oil heated, and a tray lined with absorbent kitchen paper.

The ‘skordalia’ (garlic and potato dip) which is made using the same technique that an aioli or mayonnaise is, can be made up to three days before, in fact I recommend it as the flavour intensifies over the few days. Traditionally ‘skordalia’ is served with fish, especially small fish such as ‘atherina’ or white bait that get fried to crispy and eaten whole.

For a vegan or Lenten option just replace the grated cheese with cracked pistachio nuts or toasted sesame seeds.



PREP: 20’

COOK: 20’



For courgettes

1kg dark courgette (sliced lengthways ½ cm width)

oil for frying

2 tbsp “trimma” (dried grated cheese)

3 cups flour

1 tbsp paprika

basin of cold water

2 tbsp salt & fine black pepper

For skordalia

250g (1 large) potato (boil until very soft & then refrigerate)

½ cup lemon juice

6 cloves garlic

2 cups sunflower oil

salt & fine black pepper


For the courgettes: mix the salt & pepper into the flour.

Dip courgette into the water, then dust in flour & repeat.

Deep fry courgette until golden & remove placing onto absorbent paper.

Place courgettes onto plate & serve immediately sprinkle with “trimma” & serve with the “skordalia”

For skordalia: place garlic in blender with little oil & purée until smooth, then add potato.

Alternate adding oil & lemon in a slow stream until mixture has bulked up, add salt & pepper.

Refrigerate overnight.