This delicious recipe from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi has several steps, but the end result is well worth it. Hearty root vegetables are mashed with butter, maple syrup, spices and cooked lentils, then topped with shallots that have been braised in wine, stock and thyme. Cook’s Note: To make your own caster sugar, place regular white sugar in a spice grinder and process until it is very fine, about the consistency of icing sugar.
Avoiding Additives and Preservatives
I used a red wine from Frogpond Farm, which does not add sulfites to its wines. I also used Imagine stock and butter that contains only cream. Check your dry spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.
For the shallots
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 1/3 lb (600 g) shallots, peeled
1 2/3 cups (400 ml) red wine
200 ml vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp (5 ml) whole black peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tbsp (15 ml) caster sugar
2 tbsp (30 g) butter
For the lentils and vegetables
1/3 cup (80 g) puy lentils
½ celery root (300 g), peeled and cut into chunks
2 carrots (300 g), peeled and cut into chunks
½ kabocha squash (300 g), or other type, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes (600 g), peeled and cut into chunks
5 tbsp (70 g) butter, diced
2 tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
1½ tsp (7.5 ml) ground cumin
Salt and black pepper
Put the oil and shallots in a heavy pan and fry, stirring occasionally, for five minutes until well coloured. Add the wine, stock, bay, peppercorns, thyme, sugar and a ¾ tsp (3 ml) salt, cover and simmer for an hour. Remove the lid, raise the heat and boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove the shallots and keep them warm. Stir butter into sauce and set aside until ready to use.
Meanwhile, simmer the lentils in plenty of water until tender (about 25 minutes), drain and set aside.
Half fill a medium pan with water, bring to a boil, add the celery root and carrot and, after 10 minutes, the squash and sweet potato. Ten to 15 minutes later, they should be done.
Drain the veg, shaking off as much liquid as possible, and mash well with a potato masher. Mix in the butter, maple syrup, cumin and cooked lentils and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, top the mash with shallots and pour sauce over the top. Serves 6.
From Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi