baby beluga lentils with roasted tomatoes and herbs

November 23, 2013

baby beluga 2


I’m heading to London, England next week and will be dining at the fabulous Ottolenghi’s on Tuesday night. I can’t wait. I use his cookbooks all the time and am very inspired by him. And now I get to feast on his creations prepared by – not by me in my humble little kitchen – but by his peeps. So this recipe is in honour of that occasion. I’ve switched it up a bit but it’s still his signature style using fresh, good quality ingredients in a simple way with heaps of fresh herbs to make it sing.

10 cherry tomatoes, quartered

8 thyme sprigs

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp thick balsamic vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

1 small red onion, very thinly sliced

1 tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

1 1/3 baby beluga lentils

3 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 tbsp chopped parsley

3 tbsp chopped chives

4 tbsp chopped dill

pine nuts, toasted

black pepper

Start by making the oven-dried tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Quarter the tomatoes vertically and place skin-side down on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Arrange the thyme sprigs on top of them. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with some salt. Roast for 1 hour, or until semi-dried. Discard the thyme and allow to cool down slightly.

Meanwhile, place the red onion in a medium bowl, pour over the vinegar and sprinkle with the sea salt. Stir, then leave for a few minutes so the onion softens a bit. Place the lentils in a pan of boiling water (the water should come 3cm above the lentils) and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until tender. Drain well in a sieve and, while still warm, add to the sliced onion. Also add the olive oil, garlic and some black pepper. Stir to mix and leave aside to cool down. Once cool, add the herbs and gently mix together. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

To serve, pile up the lentils on a large plate or bowl, integrating the tomatoes as you build up the pile. Drizzle the tomato cooking juices on top,  sprinkle with the pine nuts, and serve.



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