Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lentils with Tomatoes and Gorgonzola

The other day, I mentioned the box of San Marzano tomatoes I brought home. Most of them ended up peeled, chopped, and bagged for the freezer. But, a few of them were set aside for oven roasting, and is there a sweeter, more lovely tomato flavor than what you get from slow roasting? Store-bought, sun-dried tomatoes are intensely tomato-flavored and that's perfectly nice too, but with oven roasting, you can stop the process at any point to retain a little moisture for a semi-dried effect. The result is a cross between the chewy, completely dried variety and juicy, fresh tomatoes. This dish is from Plenty which has become my go-to source for dishes with great flavor and no meat. In the book, Castelluccio lentils are suggested, and the new bulk section at our Whole Foods offers a plethora of dried bean varieties but no Castelluccios. Instead, I found black, beluga lentils which are a cute, little size and nice, dark color and worked just as well for this. Another good option would be Puy lentils.

Slow roasting tomatoes in a 250 degree F oven will take an hour and a half to two hours depending on the size of the tomatoes and the moisture content. The tomatoes were cut in half, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and sprinkled with thyme leaves and salt. Just keep checking in on them after about an hour and fifteen minutes until they've reached the semi-dried state you prefer. I roasted the tomatoes a couple of days in advance and stored them in a container in the refrigerator with the oil and vinegar scraped into the container with them. When I was ready to complete the dish, red onion was thinly sliced and left in a bowl with red wine vinegar and salt while everything else was prepped. The black beluga lentils were cooked in plain water for about fifteen to twenty minutes until just tender. They were drained and added to the red onion slices. Olive oil, minced garlic, and black pepper were added, and that was left until the lentils were cool. The original recipe calls for chervil, chives, and dill, but I used garlic chives from my garden and flat-leaf parsley. The chopped herbs were added to the cooled lentils and everything was tossed to combine. The roasted tomatoes along with chunks of Gorgonzola were added to the lentils as the dish was plated, and I served it on a bed of arugula leaves.

With the bite of Gorgonzola and the fabulousness I've already mentioned of oven-roasted tomatoes, this is no shy, vegetarian dish. Simple, earthy lentils carried both well, and the herbs added fresh flavors. My only regret here is that I didn't buy several more pounds of San Marzanos and another freezer for storing them.



25 comments:

  1. Combaning gorgonzola and lentils is very original! I really like the idea. A dish that is composed of some of my favorite things. Yummy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. This salad looks so healthy and delicious with that roasted tomato.

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  3. I have yet to find a lentil recipe that I like. I'm trying one this week, and I am putting this one of my list. I refuse to give up!

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  4. oooh I've read about roasted tomatoes in several places now. They sound almost too good to be true!
    This dish sounds like a perfect vegetarian summer dinner.

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  5. my aunt made lentil soup which I didn't like so i stayed away from it..but seeing your salad here.. I think i'm changing my mind about it..

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  6. give it to me baby, uh ha, uh ha - and all the girls say - thats pretty fly for a puy pie (or salad...)
    BEAUTIFUL!
    Miss T x

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  7. Can you explain to me why I haven't made anything from Plenty yet? No, I don't know either. But this salad looks fantastic!

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  8. Salads are almost an every day occurance during the summer months. So much wonderful produce.

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  9. Beautiful flavours... I'm not entirely surprised that a dish so lovely comes from Plenty ;)
    *kisses* HH

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  10. You had me on that beautiful gorgonzola Lisa!

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  11. Yes please! I adore lentils and paring them with gorgonzola is just genius!

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  12. Wow that looks delicious! I love the flavors and roasting the tomatoes like that sounds amazing!

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  13. WOW!!! Lentils and tomatoes are a perfect "marriage." However, the gorgonzola just brings it over the top!!! And, roasted tomatoes to boot!!! Not a dish I would normally consider for summer but boy oh boy, I wouldn't mind a huge bowl of that gorgeous salad right about now and it's breakfast time & already 90 degrees out!

    GREAT job Lisa, thank you so much for sharing...Amazing actually!!!

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  14. Beautiful, Lisa! I love Plenty. One great recipe (and photo) after another. Roasted tomatoes are one of my favorite things; I make caprese type salads with them all the time.
    What a super idea to combine lentils (which I don't serve nearly enough) with Gorgonzola and those divine tomatoes.

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  15. Gorgonzola, black lentils, arugula...this salad has all my favourite ingredients! It has got to be good.

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  16. This would so bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes and it sounds like one of those vegetarian dishes that is so packed full of flavour that you don't even notice that there isn't any meat!

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  17. I don't have to tell you how much I love that book and how much I am excited to try this recipe. Just back from vacation and feeling my all too familiar need to make super healthy but super flavorful food. That book (and your blog) is such a great place to turn to.

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  18. Did I mention I love Lentils!!!! :)

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  19. The mix of lentils and gorgonzola is very innovative and im sure it tastes delicious... cheers!

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  20. On a plate, this probably seems like a very unassuming dish, but if anyone out there is a gorgonzola fan, they know this rocks. The salty, creamy cheese is great with those lentils.

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  21. Delicious! I love it. Nothing better than fresh tomatoes from the oven. Well done!

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  22. Mmmmm how fabulous are both lentils (so humble and nutty) and gorgonzola (just the best)? And I just started roasting tomatoes (I am always the last to do anything) and roasting turns them into something so sublime and special. Great, great recipe!

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  23. what an earthy dish. that's the word that popped into my head--earthy. it sounds wonderful, lisa--i love roasted tomatoes!

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