You know how in Friends, when Rachel makes the trifle with beef and peas, Joey tells everyone to say ‘mmm’ a lot and rub their stomachs to make it look like they’re enjoying it?
(If you’ve not seen it, go and watch the scene I’m talking about. I’ll wait.)
I always thought that was just Joey’s bad acting. No one really goes ‘mmm’ while they’re eating, right?
Well, it appears that they do. The second I bit into one of these lentil sausage rolls, there was definitely some ‘mmm’ing going on. It was one of those moments when your whole body relaxes and your shoulders drop, and your eyes look to the sky. I literally looked like a TV cliché – probably one of those ladies on a chocolate advert.
I know what you’re thinking – we’re talking about lentils here, not chocolate. How tasty can lentils be, really? They’re lentils.
As it turns out, very. These lentils are flavoured with onion, garlic, mushrooms, thyme and sage, and they actually taste a little bit like Christmas stuffing. That rich, dark, earthy flavour is irresistible when wrapped up in a sheet of puff pastry.
I felt a bit childlike eating these. I guess there aren’t that many occasions that we eat sausage rolls as adults. Well, that and the inch-wide layer of flaky puff pastry I got all round my mouth (I swear I didn’t bypass my hands when eating).
By the way, I was originally going to make these vegan, but in the end I decided they needed the egg to bind them together. I’m not very clued up on vegan egg substitutes, but if you know of something that will work, go for it. Alternatively you could skip the egg altogether – they’ll still taste great, but bear in mind that the filling might be a bit more crumbly (and will therefore inevitably make even more mess).
By the way, these lentil sausage rolls are pretty big – bigger than those mini ones you get in the shops. You’ll only need a couple to fill you up. However, also bear in mind that considering how delicious they are, people will probably want to eat a lot more than that…
- 100g brown lentils
- 1tbsp oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 150g mushrooms, diced quite small
- ¼tsp dried thyme
- ¼tsp dried sage
- Black pepper
- ½ vegetable stock cube (or just salt if you don't have stock cubes)
- 50g breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2tbsp plain flour
- 375g puff pastry (I used shop-bought)
- 2tbsp milk
- Boil the brown lentils in plenty of water, until just tender (probably around 20 minutes).
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium-low heat for several minutes, and then add the mushrooms and dried herbs. Season with black pepper and crumble in half a vegetarian stock cube (or just use salt).
- When the mushrooms have released their liquid and all the vegetables are quite soft, remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs. Also add the drained lentils once they're cooked. Mix well, and then stir in the egg.
- Heat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F).
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out your puff pastry - I used a ready-rolled sheet, but I still rolled it out a little thinner so that it measured around 15 x 10 inches. I then cut my pastry into two strips measuring around 7.5 x 10 inches. Your dimensions might be a little different, so just improvise if necessary.
- Spoon the lentil mixture along the middle of each strip, pressing down lightly to help the mixture stick together. Roll each strip over the lentil mixture, sealing with a dab of milk.
- Cut the two long sausage rolls into however many smaller rolls you would like - I cut each into 5, so I ended up with 10 rolls in total.
- Place on a lightly greased baking tray (I also lined mine with baking paper), and brush each roll with a small amount of milk. Bake for around 25-30 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown.
If you’re after more vegetarian party food recipes, try my carrot and cheddar bites: