Lentil, mushroom and spinach cottage pie

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Had a couple of friends down for the weekend from old Londinium, and, if I do say so myself, the cooking was a triumph. This morning’s hangover was alleviated by the Hott Eggs recipe plus grilled vegetarian sausages, and yesterday’s dinner consisted of home-made houmus with black olives and crispbreads, then a comforting cottage pie of red lentils, mushroom and spinach, with balsamic vinegar to give it a bit of an edge.

I’d post a photo, but by the time I remembered to dig out my camera, we’d eaten the lot.

Lentil, Mushroom and Spinach Cottage Pie

One large onion, chopped
Two cloves garlic, chopped
Four large onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, cubed
Generous teaspoon thyme
300g red lentils
Pint hot vegetable stock
Generous tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Four medium potatoes, chopped and boiled until soft, then drained
Pack baby spinach leaves

Gently fry the onion and carrots in vegetable oil for ten minutes.
Add the mushrooms and garlic, cook for another 5-10 until mushrooms browned.
Add the lentils and vegetable stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
Season with salt, pepper and the balsamic vinegar.
Mash the potatoes with a little margarine and black pepper.
Add the spinach leaves last minute to the lentil and vegetable mixture. Then tip the mixture into a casserole dish,
top with the potato mash (and grated cheese if wanted), bake uncovered in the oven for 45-60 minutes at 180 degrees.
Serve with steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

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