This flavorful loaf is perfect for the holidays or anytime you want a hearty main dish. It can be made with fresh or dried herbs. Make two loaves while you’re at it and freeze one for leftovers.
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1/2 cup dry/uncooked brown-green lentils
- 1/2 cup dry/uncooked short-grain brown rice
- 2 tsp “poultry” seasoning
- 1 tsp granulated onion
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 5 white or cremini mushrooms, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 large rib celery, sliced (about ½ cup)
- 1 Tbs freshly chopped garlic (4 to 5 medium cloves)
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 can tomato paste (6 ounces)
- 2 ounces pecans or walnuts, chopped (about 1/2 cup; this is optional)
- 1 Tbs minced fresh sage (or 1 and 1/2 tsp dried rubbed sage)
- 2 tsp minced fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (or 3/4 tsp dried)
1. Place the water, lentils, rice, “poultry” seasoning, and granulated onion into a medium saucepan over high heat. When it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes with the lid still on. (Prepare your remaining ingredients while the rice and lentils are cooking).
2. Place 1 tablespoon of water into a medium frying pan over high heat. When the water starts to sputter, add the chopped onion, mushrooms, and celery, and cook while stirring for 3 to 5 minutes, adding a little water, as needed. Add the garlic and stir for two minutes more until the vegetables have softened. If you’re using dried herbs, stir them in with the garlic; if using fresh herbs, you will add them in step 4. Remove from the heat.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C. Line a standard size loaf pan (9×5×3 inches) with parchment paper.
4. Place the oats, tomato paste, and nuts (if using) into a large bowl. If you’re using fresh herbs (sage, thyme, and rosemary), add them to the bowl as well. When the cooked vegetables, rice, and lentils have cooled for at least 10 minutes, add them to the bowl, and stir until all of the ingredients have been mixed thoroughly.
5. Place half of the mixture into a food processor. Pulse about three times then scrape down the sides. Pulse another three times so that the mixture is evenly blended but still somewhat chunky. Spoon this mixture into the loaf pan. Place the remaining half of the mixture into the food processor and pulse in the same way. Add this mixture to the loaf pan as well. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan.
6. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the top is browned and the edges look crispy. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve as is, or with mushroom gravy or tomato sauce.
Preparation: about 25 minutes
Cooking: 50 minutes (preparing the rice and lentils), 55 minutes (baking the loaf)
Serves: 6 to 10 (makes about ten 3/4-inch slices)