Lentils with sun-dried tomatoes, onion, and fresh herbs. A savory salad that will be enjoyed by everyone. I love lentils and most often I cook with Le Puy Lentils from France. They do not disintegrate while cooking. While making a salad with your lentils, that is what you are looking for in a lentil.
Do not worry about the red onion overpowering this wonderful recipe. By letting the onion sit with the vinegar, the onions soften and the strong onion flavor is tamed. Therefore the natural onion sweet flavor comes out.
Use very good sun-dried tomatoes.
Do not purchase the oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. I purchase the regular sun-dried tomatoes,with no oil added. I let mine soak in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Start them first so they will have marinade well. Do not buy sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. The oil will have removed all the natural flavor and the balsamic vinegarwill not soak into the tomatoes membranes.
If time is on your side
If time is on your side and you want to give your hand to, you can make the sun-dried tomatoes in the oven. Preheat oven to 275F. Use fresh Roma tomatoes that you will quarter. Place the quarters skin-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle generously with salt. Roast for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until semi-dry. Set aside and allow to cool down before using them with the lentils.
This dish is quite rich in nutrients and substantial that can be served as a main entree with steamed rice or to go all vegan, roasted vegetables.
Because the Puy Lentils are so small you do not need to soak them.
You can either slice the sun-dried tomatoes or you can slice them. I leave that up to you. I enjoy eating a whole one, but as I said, personal choice.
Slice the onions with a mandolineto get them very thinly sliced. The thinner the better as they will absorb better the vinegar.
Yes, Maldon salt. You can replace it with the Fleur de Sel if you wish. Do not substitute the Maldon salt with regular salt. Not the same crystallization. Fleur de Sel can be an adequate substitute.
Use fresh herbs as they will give you the ultimate savory taste in this recipe.
Stores well in the refrigerator and you can enjoy it the day after too.
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In a small bowl combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Mix well until the tomatoes are covered with balsamic and olive oil. Set aside.
In a large bowl place, the very thinly sliced red onion, pour over the red wine vinegar, and sprinkle with the Maldon salt. Stir and set aside.
Place the lentils in a pan of boiling water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain in a sieve and make sure all the water is removed. Add to the onions while still warm. Add the 4-tablespoon olive oil, garlic, and black pepper. Stir to mix and let it cool down.
Once cool add all the fresh herbs, sun-dried tomatoes with the balsamic and gently mix.