1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
250g Castelluccio lentils/Puy lentils
3 tbsp olive oil1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp chopped chervil (or parsley)
3 tbsp chopped chives
4 tbsp chopped dill
80g mild Gorgonzola, cut into rough chunks
400g plum tomatoes (about 5)
8 thyme sprigs
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp thick balsamic vinegar
First make the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 130°C/265°F/Gas ½. Quarter the tomatoes vertically and place skin-side down on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Arrange the thyme sprigs on top. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with seasalt. Roast for 1½ hours 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 onion. Also add the olive oil, garlic and some black pepper. Stir to mix and leave to cool. Once cool, add the herbs and gently mix together. Taste and adjust seasoning.
To serve, pile up the lentils on a large plate or bowl, integrating the cheese and tomatoes as you build up the pile. Drizzle the tomato cooking juices on top and serve.
Another Ottolenghi salad here, but one I had not done before. You can tell from other posts that I like lentils, especially Puy Lentils but was looking for a new variation to make for a party. So I happened on this one, which is I think from Plenty.
Not much more to say here - I made it, including making the semi-dried tomatoes and it was as lovely as you would expect from the ingredients. A classic combination of sharp umami from the cheese and sweetness from the dried tomatoes all across the base earth note from the garlicky, herby lentils. I am not a great fan of dill (other than in Gravad Lax) but it works here. It has a creamy aniseed note which often to me seems not quite right but it works with the cheese.
My only comment is that it could probably do with some different texture note. It is all very soft. The addition of some toasted walnut pieces or pistachios could add that without detracting from the overall balance of the dish and would give it a better mouth feel I think. Just a thought....