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Roasted Tomato & Lentil Salad

By Elspeth Hay | November 13, 2013

So. Where were we?

Right. Yotam Ottolenghi. This time let's talk lentils. Puy lentils. Have you had those? They're really good. They don't fall apart like red and yellow lentils. They've got staying power. They're a little bit hard, but not too hard—you have to harness them just right. 
I keep some in a jar on the kitchen counter. There are some things I like to have on hand when the moment strikes: Blue cheese. Red onions. And good red vinegar. Puy lentils, oats, brown rice. You know the types.

At any rate, this dish is full of those. It takes the last roasted cherry tomatoes from the garden (and there were still tomatoes at the farmers' market this week! in Orleans!) and tosses them with parsley, chives, and dill, red onions softened in good red wine vinegar, and a pot of puy lentils. It is excellent alongside a piece of fish. Or with bread. Or topped with a fried egg for lunch. Really, however you want to spin it.


This recipe is adapted slightly from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. If you can't find any fresh tomatoes, you could sub sun-dried tomatoes or pieces of roasted winter squash. What you want is a hit of sweetness with a lot of flavor. For the blue cheese, I like to use Great Hill Blue, made in Marion, MA.

for the tomatoes:
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

for the lentils:
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 and 1/3 cup Puy lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
black pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped dill
3 ounces Great Hill blue cheese

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Arrange the tomatoes cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with thyme and sea salt, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Bake for 60-90 minutes, until the tomatoes shrivel up and start to lose some moisture.

Meanwhile, soak the red onion in the red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt for 10 minutes. Place the lentils in a pot and add water until they are covered by 1-inch of liquid. Bring to a boil, the cook for roughly 30 minutes, until tender. Drain the water and immediately toss with the onion and vinegar. Add the olive oil, garlic, and some black pepper. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Right before you're ready to eat, add the herbs and roasted tomatoes and toss well. Add sea salt to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and top with crumbled blue cheese.