Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lentils with roasted tomatoes and Gorgonzola cheese

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As a person who eats a lot of vegetarian meals, I tend to keep a few varieties of lentils in the pantry. The problem is, outside of Indian food, I don't have a lot of good ideas for how to use them. Especially when it comes to main dishes featuring lentils, I'm usually at a loss. One of the reasons that I am so obsessed with Plenty is that it has such great, creative ideas for ingredients like lentils that get me thinking in new ways when I hit a mental block. This recipe is a perfect example - I never would have thought to pair lentils with Gorgonzola cheese and ample amounts of parsley, chives, and dill, but it works. And it tastes really good (well, assuming you like moldy cheeses). It's earthy and rich, with sweetness from the tomatoes, crunch from the onions, and lots of fresh flavor from the herbs. It's also very filling and makes a great main course.

Do you have any favorite vegetarian main courses featuring lentils?

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Lentils with roasted tomatoes and Gorgonzola cheese
Adapted from Plenty
Serves 4-5

5 plum tomatoes
3 tbs olive oil, divided
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 1/3 cups small French green lentils (lentils du Puy)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbs chopped parsley
3 tbs chopped chives
4 tbs chopped dill
3 oz. mild Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 275 deg F. Cut each tomato vertically into 6 wedges and place them skin-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and 1 tbs of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for about 2 hours (begin checking on them after about 1 1/2 hours), until tomatoes have lost some of their moisture but are still juicy inside. Allow tomatoes to cool down slightly when they are finished roasting.

Meanwhile, toss red onion with vinegar and 1 tsp salt in a medium bowl,  and set aside so that onion can soften. Place lentils in a medium pot and add water to cover lentils by 1 1/2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook lentils until tender but not falling apart, about 20-30 minutes. Drain lentils and add them to the bowl containing the onion. Add the remaining 2 tbs olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of pepper and toss to combine. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, then add herbs and gently toss. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

To serve, layer lentils with tomatoes and Gorgonzola on a large platter or bowl.

2 comments:

  1. I am definitely going to try this one... I have the same problem of running out of things to do with lentils. This is my new favorite (though definitely not as pretty as the one you posted!) http://www.indianfoodrocks.com/2009/03/dal-matters-whole-moong-dal.html

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  2. Cool, I'll check that out - thanks!

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