All that really needs to be said about these is: mmmmm. Flaky pastry dough, spinach and creamy red lentils with a little bit of spice. Yeah. These make a perfect lunch along with a cool, crisp salad, or if made smaller, could be handily applied as an appetizer. To get ahead of the meal game, make up a batch to the point of baking*, wrap well and pop into the freezer. You can them bake them straight out of the freezer (removing the plastic or foil wrap, of course).
Red Lentil & Spinach Turnovers
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup boiling water
8 oz. spinach
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Prepare the dough:
Place the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the shortening in pieces and pulse to incorporate. Add the oil to the 6 tbsp. water and slowly pour into the dough while processing. Only add as much water as needed to form a solid dough – a ball should form as the dough spins in the bowl.
Remove the dough and knead a few times if necessary. Flatten and then wrap with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight.
Prepare the filling:
Heat the vegetable broth in a large saucepan and cook the onion and garlic until soft. Add the cumin seeds and coriander and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
Add the red lentils and stir in the boiling water. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until lentils are soft. If necessary, uncover and gently cook until all the water has cooked off or been absorbed. Set aside.
Steam the spinach until just tender. Drain well and chop. Add the spinach to the lentil mixture and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator a few minutes before assembling the turnovers. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut out six 6″ rounds. Divide lentil mixture between the circles and brush a bit of water around the edges. Fold dough over to make a half circle and gently press the edge with the tines of a fork. Prick each turnover a few times on the top.
Place the turnovers (3 to a pan) on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
* Before I wrap and freeze the unbaked turnovers, I line a baking pan with parchment and put the turnovers on the parchment then place the pan in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. This firms up the dough. Then I wrap the turnovers well in plastic and put them in gallon freezer bags.
(This recipe comes from Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Bible, mentioned many-a-time on this blog. I didn’t change the pastry recipe at all, but I did do my usual veggie broth instead of oil saute for the filling.)