If you’re on a health kick like keto or paleo, or maybe you are trying to take all of your guest’s dietary restrictions into account, this delicious recipe for a French Lentil and Tomato Bake will do the trick. It’s one of several recipes from Amy Chaplin’s “Whole Food Cooking Everyday”, a cookbook full of creative recipes that conform to virtually every kind of diet you can think of, and features a whole lot of nutritious fruits and vegetables. Grab your cast-iron casserole dish and an appetite for greens, and enjoy this tasty meal.

  • Total: 1 hour 

Ingredients (15)

  • ¾ cup French lentils, soaked overnight in 3 cups (720 ml) filtered water
  • One 2-inch piece kombu
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 medium leek (see Note, page 129), cut into ½-inch (1.25 cm) slices
  • One 14½-ounce (410 g) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups thinly sliced kale (tough stems removed)
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers in brine
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe Cauliflower Bake Topping


  1. Drain and rinse the lentils and transfer them to a medium pot. Add the kombu and the 2 cups (480 ml) water and bring to a boil over high heat, then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Remove from the heat and remove the kombu (compost it). Drain the lentils and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  3. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden. Stir in the garlic and salt and cook for 3 minutes, or until the garlic is golden. Add the leek and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the tomatoes, cooked lentils, and basil, raise the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Add the kale and cook just until wilted. Stir in the capers and balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the mixture to an 8-inch (20 cm) square or equivalent baking dish and smooth the surface. Spread the cauliflower topping evenly over the filling. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the topping has begun to set. Turn on the broiler and broil the bake for 3 to 6 minutes, until the topping is golden and browning in parts. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.
  5. Once cooled, leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat, cover and warm in a 400°F (200°C) oven until heated through.

Excerpted from Whole Food Cooking Every Day by Amy Chaplin (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Anson Smart.