Lentils with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes

Lentils with balsamic roasted tomatoes, red onion and parsley makes a tasty vegan lunch or snack

Sometimes I actually crave lentils: Not red lentils that disappear in to the water as you try desperately to cook them the right way but green Puy lentils. I was introduced to them by my food-wise cousins when I was living in London - they told me that the secret is to cook them in vegetable stock and not boiling water. And that's what I've been doing ever since. I put them in veggie burgers, mix them with herbs, serve them with mash. They are amazing. Do it, you won't regret it! 


Lentils with balsamic roasted tomatoes

If I had enough time, I'd make my own veggie stock, but I just use the quick pots of it which I think is completely acceptable! I make sure that I cover the lentils by about an inch of water and put the lid on. You want them to be soft, but still hold their shape. 

I've adapted Ottolenghi's lentil recipe from Plenty to make a vegan version, also omitting the red wine vinegar, dill and garlic because I didn't have those to hand. It's great warm, but also works well as left-overs. I tend to keep lentils in the fridge and use them for lunch the following day. 


Ingredients:

  • 200g puy lentils
  • 180 ml vegetable stock (add more water if necessary to cover lentils by 1 inch)
  • 20 g parsley (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tomatoes, quartered (I like organic vine tomatoes)
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

Instructions:

There's no getting away from it. You need to preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Chop the tomatoes into quarters and place into bowl. Add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt. Place into an oven proof dish with the thyme and pop into the oven. It's a good idea to turn down the oven to about 140 degrees celsius at this stage and bake for about an hour or so until the tomatoes look like they are becoming caramelised in the sauce but not burnt! 

Meanwhile, marinade the sliced onions with the balsamic vinegar and the rest of the salt. 

Put the lentils and boiling vegetable stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil. You want the lentils covered by about an inch or so. Cover with the lid and keep an eye on it. You want all of the liquid to be absorbed but you don't want to burn the lentils. 

Leave the lentils to cool slightly before adding to the onion marinade. Stir and add in the balsamic tomatoes along with the juice (if there is any left!), at this point you want to add in the herbs. 

Serve with anything you like, at any time you like! 

Serves 4

Prep time - 15 minutes     Cooking time - 1 hour