This is the kind of recipe that makes me so, so desperate for someone to invent calorie-free pastry. I could happily eat a million of these cheese and onion lentil rolls. I didn’t though, of course – I managed to stop myself after about thirty five.
(That’s a joke by the way, before anyone tells me that eating 35 of these wouldn’t be sensible. I know that.)
(Would be really tasty though.)
I’m sure you’ve all tried cheese and onion rolls in the past, but they’re usually made with potato for bulk. This version uses lentils instead (hence the name!). Much as I adore potatoes, I wanted to try something a bit different that still kept the focus on the cheesy, oniony filling. But don’t panic if you’re not a huge lentil fan – my husband claims to hate lentils, and still polished off a whole load of these. So no fear! They’re not super lentil-y. The cheese and onion flavour totally shines through.
These cute little lentil rolls are absolutely perfect for picnics (if the sun decides it’s going to grace us with its presence again this year…). And the best thing about them is that they’re made so much more convenient using frozen ingredients from Iceland!
Yep – those flaky rolls are made entirely from frozen and store-cupboard ingredients. Well, plus a bit of cheese – but what self-respecting British household doesn’t have a block of cheddar in the fridge at all times anyway?
Since picnic weather is so unpredictable in the UK, it’s always a good idea to have an easy picnic recipe ready to go when the sun decides to shine without warning. Just have a block of puff pastry ready in the freezer, and whenever you’re woken up by the sun streaming through the window, you’ll know it’s time to get your picnic on.
I also used Iceland’s frozen parsley, and frozen onions, a.k.a my new favourite – I’ve always hated chopping onions. With frozen ones you don’t cry, you don’t have to faff about peeling off layers of papery skin, and you don’t even have to dirty a chopping board. Perfect for lazy cooks like me! I’ve actually been really impressed with Iceland’s range since I’ve started shopping there more often, and frozen peppers (for quick dinners) and frozen fruit (for smoothies) are now regular finds in my freezer.
So if you’re longing for the return of the warm weather, perhaps if you pop to Iceland and stock up your freezer with all the frozen ingredients you’ll need for these lentil rolls, your picnic dreams might just come true (we can always dream).
Cheese and onion lentil rolls
- 500 g puff pastry (~ 17.5 oz)
- 215 g (~ 1 cup) dried red lentils, or 560g (~ 2 1/4 cups) cooked red lentils
- 1/2 vegetable stock cube
- 1/2 tbsp oil
- 250 g frozen diced onions (~ 2 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Flour for rolling
- 150 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ 1 1/2 cups grated)
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley (I used frozen)
- Black pepper
- 1 tbsp milk
- Allow the frozen pastry to thoroughly defrost - either overnight in the fridge, or a few hours at room temperature.
- Boil the lentils in plenty of water, with half a vegetable stock cube crumbled in. When they're completely soft (after around 20 minutes), drain them, and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the diced onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or so over a medium heat, until soft. Set aside to cool.
- When the pastry is defrosted, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it's around 3mm thick. I ended up with a rectangle measuring around 18 x 14 inches, but it's okay if your rectangle is a slightly different shape. Cut the pastry into strips measuring around 4.5 inches wide (I ended up with 4 strips, each measuring around 14 x 4.5").
- When the lentils and onions have cooled, add them to a mixing bowl, along with the grated cheddar cheese, chopped parsley, and plenty of salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- Spoon the filling along the lengths of each of your pastry strips. Using a clean finger or pastry brush, dampen one long edge of each strip with milk, and bring the edges together over the filling. Squeeze the edges together to seal.
- Cut each strip into 2 inch pieces, and place seam-side down on a lined, lightly greased baking sheet. Brush again lightly with milk.
- Bake for around 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for one lentil roll.