Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Adapted from Everyday Italian, this is loaded with nutrition. This recipe came from Giada's mom, who is a vegetarian!
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
Brown Rice Lentil Loaf
- 3⁄4 cup lentils
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice, rinsed
- 1⁄2 cup white onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup carrot, shredded
- 1 celery rib, sliced
- 1⁄2 cup frozen corn kernels
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
- 1 1⁄2 cups cubed mozzarella cheese, divided (about 8 ounces)
- 2 eggs, beaten lightly
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄3 cup chopped fresh basil leaf
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tomatoes, sliced
- Checca Sauce:
- Combine the cherry tomatoes, scallions, garlic, basil, and oil in a food processor. Pulse the tomatoes until they are coarsely chopped, but not pureed. Set aside. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- For the Brown Rice Lentil Loaf:
- Place the lentils in a large saucepan of cold water. Bring the water just to a boil over high heat. Carefully drain the boiling water and rinse the lentils. Meanwhile, in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the rice and return liquid to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover the rice, and gently simmer without stirring for 10 minutes. Stir in the lentils, onion, carrot, and celery. Cover and continue cooking without stirring until rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes more. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the corn over the rice and lentils and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Cover and let it stand for 5 more minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350*F.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter over a 10"x4 1/2"x3" loaf pan. In a large heavy skillet, cook the spinach over medium heat until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Drain and squeeze the excess liquid from the spinach. Move the spinach to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
- In a large bowl, gently mix the lentil mixture, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, eggs, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, basil, salt, pepper, and half of the checca sauce. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a row over the lentil mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 2 tbls. of Parmesan cheese. Dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Bake uncovered until loaf is heated through and the topping is melted and starting to brown, about 30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. Slice the loaf into 2-inch slices, arrange on plates, and serve with the remaining checca sauce. Enjoy!
Thank you for posting this Sharon. This was delicious. It does take a little time but it's easy and well worth it. With the lentils and rice, it's healthy but the mozzarella makes the veggies yummier. Great way to eat these healthy ingredients.
I haven't tried this particular recipe, but I couldn't help but notice that in my search for the perfect lentil loaf this is the exact recipe the is on foodnetwork.com from chef giada delaruentis. Your friend?
This really was a very nice vegetarian entree. I ended up feeling like it took more work than a recipe I would use on a busy night, but if you had the lentils & brown rice made it would go together fairly quickly. I subbed garden tomatoes for the cherry, but otherwise followed the ingredients. I also lined my loaf pan with foil to help with clean up. Thanks Sharon for posting a recipe I wanted to try after seeing it on TV.