I've made them over and over again to rave reviews. They freeze beautifully and you can make them ahead of time and then warm them up just before serving.
I tend to double this recipe and make 12 timbales because I want to make sure there is some leftovers for the next day. They even make great sandwiches!! In my pre-vegan days turkey and stuffing sammies with mayo was something I looked forward to all year. I think these are actually even better!! It's like a mushroom, stuffing and paté all rolled into one.
Mushroom, Lentil, and Wild Rice Timbales
1 large yellow onion, minced
2 large slices bread (may be gluten-free or use equivalent amount of bread crumbs about 1/2 cup)
2 cups mushrooms, quartered (about 10 large)
1/2 cup silken tofu (light, firm or extra-firm Mori-Nu, preferred)
3 cloves garlic, quartered
1 tablespoon sherry
2 tablespoons water
1 cup lentils, cooked (or used canned if you're lazy like me)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
3 tablespoons cornstarch, or arrowroot
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup wild rice, cooked (I like to use a wild rice blend)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sliced mushrooms for garnish (optional)
Make ahead: 1 cup cooked lentils (from about 1/2 cup dried) and 1 cup wild rice (about 1/2 cup before cooking)
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 6 ramekins with canola oil or cooking spray and have ready a large baking pan that will hold them (9×13-inch should work). Place one nice-looking mushroom slice in the bottom of each ramekin, as a garnish.
Sauté the onion in a non-stick pan until it begins to brown. Set aside.
Place the bread in a food processor and pulse until it turns to crumbs. Add the mushrooms, tofu, garlic, sherry, and water and blend until fairly smooth. Add the lentils and process again until smooth. Add the tomato paste, herbs, cornstarch, and salt and process until well-blended. Add the onions to the processor and pulse to include them but do not over-process (you want them to retain some texture.)
Scrape the contents of the food processor into a bowl and add the cooked wild rice. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Mix well.
Divide the mixture among the ramekins (don't forget to spray your ramekins with cooking spray) and smooth the tops with a spoon. Set the ramekins in the large baking dish and add hot water to the dish, taking care not to splash it into the ramekins. So your ramekins will be in a water bath.
Bake, uncovered, until tops are brown and crusty and middles seem moderately firm when pressed with a finger–about 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edges and invert the ramekins onto serving plates. Serve with your favorite mushroom or miso gravy and mashed potatoes.
I made these in a cooking class for Kathy Smart's community last year and they LOVED them! I think you will too.