- Serves: 4
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Effort: easy
- 200 g red lentils
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 courgette, grated
- 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
- 125 ml vegetable stock
- ¼ tsp dried rosemary
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 100 g spinach, chopped
- 4 red or green peppers, halved and deseeded
- ½ lemons, juiced
For the topping
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 30 g brown breadcrumbs
- ¼ tsp thyme
- ½ lemons, zested
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Put the lentils and 500ml water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. The lentils shouldn't be mushy at this stage. Drain them and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and grated carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, courgette, chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and dried herbs and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add the chopped spinach and cooked lentils. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the pepper halves, cut side up, on a lightly greased baking tray and fill the peppers with the lentil mixture, distributing it evenly. Squeeze lemon juice over the tops, then cover with kitchen foil and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
4. For the topping: Heat the olive oil in a small pan over a medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and thyme and cook for a few minutes until the breadcrumbs are well coated. Add the lemon zest and parsley, then take off the heat and set aside.
5. Uncover the peppers and sprinkle them with the topping. Bake uncovered for a further 15 minutes until the top is golden brown and the peppers are soft. Serve immediately.
Image copyright: Lis Parsons 2014
This recipe is from The Secret Ingredient: Family Cookbook by Sally Bee (HarperCollins)
For more meat free inspiration, check out these vegetarian recipes.
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