Lentil Salad

Meatless Monday, the perfect excuse to cook something out of Plenty by Ottolenghi! I made the tomatoes on the weekend, they take some time, the rest comes together quickly.

Oven-dried tomatoes
6 plum tomatoes, halved
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and pepper

1 red onion, very finely sliced
Red wine vinegar
2 TBSP olive oil
1 1/3 c lentils
1/4 c chopped parsley
1/4 c chopped dill
1/4 c chopped chives
4 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled

Preheat oven to 375.

Sprinkle the thyme sprigs over the top, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and season well with sea salt and pepper. Roast for about 1 1/2 hours or until semi-dried (or, for as long as you possibly have time to).

Discard the thyme and set the tomatoes aside to cool.

Place the onion in a bowl and pour over some vinegar and sea salt. Stir and leave the onion to soften.

Place the lentils in a pan of boiling water and cook for 30 – 40 minutes until tender. Drain and add the oil, onions, tomatoes, herbs and cheese. TAste and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.


Lentils with Broiled Eggplant


Yes, I’m obsessed – Ottolenghi is a god in my world. This is an amazing meatless Monday dish. It might be pushing it for a weeknight meal, but you can roast the eggplant in advance. Leftovers – can’t wait!!

2 medium eggplants
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 c lentils
3 small carrots, peeled, chopped small
2 celery stalks, chopped small
1 bay leaf
3 springs thyme
1 onion, minced
3 TBSP olive oil
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c chopped herbs, dill, parley & cilantro
2 TBSP Greek yogurt

Prick eggplant all over, broil for an hour turning several times until charred and collapsed. Let cool then scrape out flesh and drain for 30 min. Chop, stir in 1/2 TBSP vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Lower temp to 275 and roast tomatoes for 25 min. Set aside.

Cook lentils according to package stir in carrots, celery, bay leaf, thyme and onion. Cook until tender about 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme. Add rest of vinegar, 2 TBSP olive oil and salt and pepper. Stir in herbs and tomatoes.

To serve, spoon lentil into bowl, pile on eggplant and top with a dollop of yogurt.

Serves 4

Roasted Tomatoes, Lentils and Egg with Dukka

Diana Henry is amazing! I think I have marked almost every recipe in her new book to try! This one is great for meatless Monday and you will have plenty of Dukka for other uses. I pulsed the whole spices in my spice grinder and added to the rest of tenge dukka ingredients.

For the dukka:
1/2 c hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 c sesame seed
1/4 c black sesame seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 TBSP sunflower seeds
3 TBSP coriander seeds, ground up a bit
1 TBSP peppercorns, ground up a bit
11/2 tbsp cumin seeds, ground up a bit
1 tsp ground paprika
1/2 TBSP sea salt flakes

For the tomatoes and eggs
8 large plum tomatoes, halved
3 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp harissa
1/2 TBSP sugar
salt and pepper
4 large eggs, poached

For the lentils
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 onion, very finely chopped
1 celery stick, very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 c Puy lentils
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 TBSP sherry vinegar
3 1/2 TBSP olive oil
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Combine the nuts, seeds and toasted spices with the paprika and salt. Store in a jar or other airtight container until you need it.

For the tomatoes, preheat the oven 375F. Lay the tomatoes in a single layer in a roasting tin. Mix the olive oil and harissa together and pour over. Turn to coat, ending cut side up, then sprinkle with sugar and season. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until caramelized in parts and slightly shrunken.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils. Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently sautee the onion, celery and garlic until soft but not coloured. Add the lentils and turn them over in the oil. Chuck in the thyme and bay leaf. Cover with 2 c of water, season lightly, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are just tender. Remove the thyme and bay leaf. Add the lemon juice. Mix the vinegar and oil together and stir it into the lentils with the coriander. Taste for seasoning.

Spoon 1/4 of the lentils into a bowl, top with 4 tomato slices, and egg and them lightly sprinkle with dukka.

Serves 4.

Chicken and Lentils with Apsaragus


This recipe was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals. It really takes closer to 30 minutes. I used chicken thighs instead of breasts and left out the yogurt (because I forgot it), and served it with some home baked crusty bread. You may need to adjust the cooking time on the chicken depending on how thick it is.

1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
olive oil
8 oz cooked lentils (I used TJ’s)
14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
8 oz baby spinach, chopped
1 tsp red wine vinegar

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp smoked paprika
Cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 springs fresh thyme
1/2 lb asparagus
6 pieces pancetta

Heat 1 TBSP olive oil over medium heat, add carrots and onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in lentils, tomatoes and rosemary and cook over medium heat. When you add the asparagus to the chicken, stir in the spinach and red wine vinegar, continue to cook until the chicken is done.

Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika and a little cayenne pepper.
In a large skillet, heat 1 TBSP olive oil, add chicken and garlic and cook for 10 minutes. Flip chicken over, cook 5 more minutes, push chicken to one side of the pan, add pancetta and asparagus, cook for 5 minutes, turning pancetta and asparagus.

To serve. Top each piece of chicken with pancetta, serve over the lentils with asparagus.

Serves 6.


Lentils & Spinach


This was influenced by a recipe I found in Eating Well. I had some roasted garlic so I used that to give it a really deep layer of flavor. This is an easy one pot, weeknight meal. You can easily double this to serve more people. Service it with some nice crusty bread.

4 cloves roasted garlic, minced
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
2 c water
1/2 c lentils (I had orange on hand)
4 c spinach or other greens
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in Dutch oven, add garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute over medium heat, add tomato paste and rosemary cook for another minute stirring to blend. Add water and lentil reduce heat to low, partially cover and cook for 40 minutes.

Remove lid and stir in spinach, cook for 5 minutes or so until wilted.

Serves 2.

Lentil and Pearl Barley Soup


Fall is in the air and I’m so ready for hearty soups! This one is from Patricia Well’s The Paris Cookbook.

1/2 c pearly barley
1/2 c dark green lentils
1 TBSP olive oil
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
3 leeks, white part only, minced
3 carrots, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
Sea salt
1 28 oz can Italian plum tomatoes
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and green germ removed

Rinse barley and lentils.

In a large pot combine oil, herbs, leeks, carrot, celery and 1 tsp sea salt over low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and 5 cups of water, bring to a boil. Add grains and garlic, stir and simmer covered for 45 minutes until tender.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 8 – 10.

Spiced Orange Lentils


I am doing the whole Ethiopian spread out of the November Issue of Food & Wine. I cut the oil back a bit and used orange lentils instead of red ones. Warning: You need to buy special spices for the dish. The flavors are amazing!!

2 TBSP olive oil
2 c, red onion, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, minced
One 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 TBSP berbere, plus more for sprinkling
2 tsp nigella seeds, finely ground
1 tsp ground cardamom
Kosher salt
1 lb orange lentils

In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, berbere, nigella seeds, cardamom and a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper and cook until fragrant and deeply colored, about 10 minutes.

Add the lentils with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have cooked downand thickened, 25 minutes. Season the lentils with salt and pepper. Ladle the lentils into bowls, sprinkle with berbere and serve.