Ingredients (serves 4):
- 4 Big Green Outer Leaves Savoy Cabbage
- 6 oz Puy Lentils (French Green Lentils)
- 1 Small Onion or 3 Shallots Finely Diced
- 1 Clove of Garlic Finely Chopped
- 20 fl oz Mushroom or Vegetable Stock
- 8 oz Finely Sliced Mixed Wild Mushrooms
- Handful of Marjoram Leaves, Chopped
- Truffle Oil (Optional)
- Take the central tough core out of the middle of the outer leaves and then plunge into boiling water for about a minute, and then remove and put into ice cold water to stop the cooking and preserve the bright green colour.
- Meanwhile heat a saucepan with a good shot of olive oil. Saute the onions and garlic until softened.
- Add the lentils and then the stock. Simmer (Not Boil) for 20-30 miunutes or until the lentils are softened, (you may have to add a little more stock). There should still be a little liquid left in the pan with the lentils.
- Blitz the lentils to a puree in a food processor.
- Saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil until softened. Add the marjoram and season with salt and pepper. Stir into the lentil mixture with a tablespoon of truffle oil, if using.
- Allow to cool and set for several hours.
- Take a 6 oz ladle and line with cling film.
The high fibre and folate content in lentils has been shown to be very beneficial in heart health. It is also rich in magnesium which helps the walls of arteries and veins to relax which helps with blood flow. Lentils are rich in iron which is better absorbed with Vitamin-C, dark green vegetables such as savoy, are a rich source of Vitamin-C.
Mushrooms have long been associated with fighting cancer in Asia. In Japan lentinan, found in Shiitake mushrooms, has been shown to inhibit tumour growth. Mushrooms are also a good source of polysacharides , which help boost the immune system. Chinese black mushrooms (wood ear) contain an anti-coagulant substance which thins the blood and helps prevent clots. The effect has been likened to that of aspirin.
These are an excellent, nutritious and very elegant way to cater for vegetarians or vegans at a dinner party. The fact that they can be made ahead of time and frozen is an added bonus. You can also make a wonderful meat version of this dish by very slowly roasting lamb shoulder with garlic and rosemary until the meat is falling off the bone. Shred it up and mix with a little of the fat and juices and use in the same way as you would for the lentil filling. Again it is superb with parsnip puree.
All ingredients should be organic whenever possible!