This recipe has all the elements of a substantial salad: delicate lentils, robust oven tomatoes, fresh green herbs and decadent cheese.
- 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1tbsp good quality red wine vinegar
- 250g castelluccio lentils
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 3tbsp chopped chervil (or parsley)
- 3tbsp chopped chives
- 3tbsp chopped dill
- 80g mild gorgonzola, cut into rough chunks
For the oven-dried tomatoes
- 400g plum tomatoes (about 5)
- 8 thyme sprigs
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 2tbsp 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 sea
salt. 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.