Great vegetarian dish that will be loved by all! Hearty and filling, without feeling too heavy. Making it into a casserole adds a great dimension to what could also be eaten as a lentil soup or stew.
Serving Notes: The green olives may seem to be odd, but they give the casserole a great extra sparkle! If you're not sure, bake the casserole in 2 dishes and try it both ways. But if you like green olives, you'll love them in the casserole.
3 large carrots, thickly sliced
4 stalks celery, thickly sliced
4 small to medium potatoes, cut into small pieces
½ cup uncooked orzo
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups dried lentils
4 cups water
1½ cups broth
1 tsp. Stuart's Spices Big Bay Seasoning
1 tsp. Stuart's Spices Garlic Granules
1 tsp. ground black pepper
Optional: chopped green olives, about 1 cup
- Rinse lentils. Place lentils, onion, Big Bay, garlic granules and pepper into the 4 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add carrots and celery and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Add one cup of broth.
- Add orzo and potatoes and continue to simmer for about 10-15 more minutes. May need to add another ¼ to ½ cup of broth so that there is enough liquid to cook the potatoes and orzo. In the end, the consistency should be more thick than soup-like. Remove from heat.
- Add the cup of chopped green olives to the stew-like mixture, then spoon into a lightly oiled casserole. Top with cheese. Bake at 350° until cheese melts and casserole is bubbling, about 10-15 minutes.
- Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Makes 1 large casserole, in a deep 9x12" pan. Feeds 8-12.