This is my kind of food. I love hearty main dish salads like this beauty. Really, what’s not to love about French green lentils tossed in a simple sherry vinaigrette…especially with the addition of oven roasted tomatoes.
Have you roasted your own tomatoes? If not, it’s time to start.
Simply cut fresh Roma tomatoes in half and arrange in a baking pan. Season with salt, pepper and a touch of oil, then place in the oven to roast slowly.
After a few hours in the oven much of the water in the tomatoes bakes off, concentrating the rich and sweet tomato flavor. The tomatoes will still be juicy. (Think juicy roasted tomatoes…not leathery dried tomatoes.) Once cool, cut the tomatoes with kitchen scissors over a bowl to catch the delicious tomato juices.
Roasted Roma Tomatoes Recipe
1 1/4 pounds fresh Roma (plum) tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise; remove and discard tomato core. (Do not seed tomato.) Place tomato halves, cut-side up, on baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake between 2 and 3 hours or until tomatoes are very soft and a bit shriveled (but still juicy) and the bottoms have started to blacken. (The time will vary depending on the size of the tomatoes and the temperature of the oven. Oven temperatures vary, so it’s best to check the tomatoes early, and bake longer, if needed.)
Let tomatoes cool. Cut tomatoes into chunks with kitchen scissors. (Cut over a bowl to catch the tomato juices.)
Makes about 1 1/4 cups diced roasted tomatoes with juices
French Green Lentil Salad Recipe
1 cup French green lentils, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, halved
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6 cups water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups diced roasted Roma tomatoes with juices (see recipe above)
Fresh baby spinach leaves
Fresh basil leaves
In a large pot, combine lentils, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and water. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until lentils are almost tender. Add salt; cook about 5 minutes more or until lentils are just tender. (Be careful not to overcook so that lentils keep their shape.)
Drain lentils. Remove and discard garlic and bay leaf.
In a large bowl combine sherry vinegar and Dijon mustard; whisk in olive oil. Add lentils; stir gently to coat. Stir in roasted tomatoes with juices.
The lentil salad can be served immediately or covered and refrigerated before serving. To serve, I like to pile the lentil salad on baby spinach leaves and tear some fresh basil over the top.
Makes 4 servings
Vegetarian Lentil Soup with Greens
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