lentils with slow roasted tomatoes and feta

March 18, 2014


I love a hearty side dish that can also be made as a vegetarian main dish, and this recipe is one of them. Lentils and I go way back. My dad always would fix them with celery, carrots and onion and it was the most satisfying meal just on its own. Going back for seconds was a given, and I’d always look forward to the next day’s leftovers. I saw this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, and adapted it slightly to work with what I had in the kitchen. I made it for dinner on Sunday night and it was a huge hit. In fact, everyone went back for seconds {and thirds for some!}. It’s so flavorful with the slow roasted tomatoes and red onion. Oh and all the fresh herbs!! Such a great dish to welcome spring! 

Lentils with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Feta adapted from Plenty
serves 4 {good main dish portion}

5 plum tomatoes
8 thyme sprigs
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 Tbsp good quality red wine vinegar
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
1 1/3 cups lentils {I used brown ones from Trader Joes. Puy is a good one that won’t disintegrate while cooking}
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
3 Tbsp chopped chives
4 Tbsp chopped dill
3 oz feta cheese

To make the oven-dried tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Quarter the tomatoes vertically and place skin-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange the thyme sprigs on top of them. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with some salt. Roast for 1.5 hours, or until semi-dried. Discard the thyme and allow to cool down slightly.

Place the lentils in a pan of boiling water {the water should cover the lentils by about 1 1/4 inches} and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until tender. When the lentils are almost finished cooking, place the red onion in a medium bowl and pour vinegar on top, sprinkling with the sea salt. Stir and leave for a few minutes until the onion softens a bit. When the lentils are finished, drain well in 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 feta and tomatoes as you build up the pile. Drizzle the tomatoes cooking juices on top and serve.

Are you a fan of lentils? It has a lot of protein so it’s great if you have a vegetarian or vegan diet!
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