A creamy, cheesy lentil gratin - like a classic potato gratin, but more filling, with extra tasty goat's cheese!
I'm on a comfort food roll! Cheesy pasta bakes, creamy bean stews... and now, this hearty potato and lentil gratin. Potato gratin is usually served as a side dish, but the extra protein in this lentil gratin makes it filling enough to serve as the main element of your meal. Cheesy potatoes for dinner! Hurrah!
Not many ingredients!
This recipe is the third of my 'naturally good' recipes made with St Helen's Farm goat's milk products. This time I needed to make a recipe that was 'naturally good and easy' - something you can make to impress your friends, without needing too many ingredients. This lentil gratin has only a few main ingredients (plus one or two supporting stars):
- red lentils - to provide protein and make sure the dish is nice and filling
- courgette (zucchini) - because I like to sneak in an extra veg or two when I can (it's barely noticeable in the finished dish!)
- potatoes - no reason needed, there's always an excuse for potatoes
- chives - to add that lovely oniony flavour to the whole dish
- goat's cheese - for a tasty cheesy flavour and crispy topping!
- goat's cream - to bring everything together into a yummy, creamy gratin
Both potatoes and lentils love salt, and they need lots of it to make them really tasty, so add plenty of that too!
This recipe may not be quite as quick to make as my creamy white beans were the other day, but I've tried to keep the prep to a minimum. I'm not a fan of recipes that require ten different things to be cooked separately before you can even start putting it together! Who can be bothered?
The lentils do need pre-cooking, unfortunately - I'm not a magician - but the courgette (zucchini) and potatoes don't. Just stir the raw grated courgette right in with the lentils, and give the potatoes a quick slice, and you're good to go.
Layer it up!
Once you have your ingredients prepared, just layer them into a baking dish. I only made two layers of each ingredient, so it didn't take long - you can make more layers if you prefer, you might just need to cut your potatoes a bit thinner so you can create the extra layer. I found two was plenty - you get one layer of soft potatoes that have absorbed that lovely goat's cream, and one layer on top that's covered with crispy cheese. Yum.
Goat's cheese and chives
I love using goat's cheese for this kind of dish. Neither potatoes nor lentils have a huge amount of flavour on their own, so you need something tasty to go with them. I used the mature goat's cheese from St Helen's Farm, which is a hard, grate-able (is that a word?) cheese - as opposed to a soft, crumbly goat's cheese. You can use it just like you'd use cheddar - you can sprinkle it over all sorts of dishes. It melts really nicely.
I also really love the chives in this lentil gratin. Cheese and chives are such an awesome pair. Chives have a slightly oniony flavour, but they're much easier to use than actual onions, as they need barely any preparation and no pre-cooking. Just chop them quickly, and they're ready to use.
Couldn't you just dive right in to that crispy, cheesy topping, with the cream bubbling through from underneath?
Goat's dairy recipes
This is the last of my recipes with St Helen's Farm, using their gorgeous goat's milk products. Make sure you check out my other two recipes from earlier in the month:
And there are lots more goat's dairy recipes on the Naturally Good website from St Helen's Farm!
Goat's cheese and potato lentil gratin
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- 200 g (~ 1 cup) red lentils
- 650 ml (~ 2 ½ cups) vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 230 g (~ ½ lb) courgette (zucchini) (~ 1 small or ½ large)
- 525 g (~ 1 lb 2 oz) potatoes (~ 3 medium potatoes)
- 125 ml (~ ½ cup) St Helen’s Farm double goat’s cream
- 100 g St Helen’s Farm mature goat’s cheese, grated (~ 1 cup when grated)
- Small bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
- Add the lentils to a saucepan, along with the vegetable stock, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are very soft and have cooked right down into the liquid. Allow the mixture to thicken a little - it should still be fairly wet, but with no excess liquid (mine took about 20 minutes in total).
- Meanwhile, grate the courgette (zucchini), and thinly slice the potatoes.
- When the lentils are cooked, add the grated courgette, and mix to combine.
- Add half of the lentils to a baking dish (mine measured around 10 x 10 inches), and top with half of the sliced potatoes (in a single layer, if possible - it's okay if you need to overlap them a bit). Drizzle over half of the goat's cream, and top with half of the chopped chives and half of the grated goat's cheese. Repeat the layers a second time to use up the remaining ingredients.
- Cover the dish loosely with foil, and bake at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 1 hour, until the potatoes are fairly soft. Remove the foil, and return to the oven for a further 25 minutes, or until the cheese has crisped up to your liking. Allow to sit for a few minutes before cutting to allow the lentil gratin to firm up a little.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.