Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Umbrian Lentils with Oven-dried Tomatoes and Gorgonzola

This is another one from the beautiful vegetarian cookbook Plenty.  I really love the fact that the recipe asks you to oven-dry the tomatoes. Rather than those jarred sun-dried tomatoes that tends to come packed in oil, this way tends to be less caloric and you can even control the amount of dryness.  I love that semi-dried state of the tomatoes that embraces both the flavor intensity of sun-dried tomatoes and the juiciness of a fresh ripe tomato.

And speaking of tomatoes, my mother continues to store her tomatoes in the fridge even though I've told her that tomatoes lose their flavor when they're stored at cold temperatures.  She refuses to believe me.  So if you are like my mother and prefer to keep your tomatoes in the fridge, then at least try to bring them back to room temperature before you use them.  This will help bring back some of that lost flavor.  

It's a well researched fact that tomatoes don't like to be stored in the cold, and now there is further research saying that the nutritional values of a tomato may be increased when they are cooked. Apparently, the amount of lycopene and antioxidants increase dramatically as the tomatoes are heated.  And it is now common knowledge that lycopene is one of the single most effective "oxygen-quenchers".  Their incredible ability to devour free-radicals in our bodies make them an important part of our diet. You can read more about this research here 

Umbrian Lentils with Oven-dried tomatoes and Gorgonzola
Adapted from Plenty

Serves 4

A small basket of cherry tomatoes
1tbsp.......olive oil
2tbsp.......balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
1 small red onion (thin sliced)
3tbsp......olive oil
1tbsp......minced garlic
3tbsp.....chopped parsley
3tbsp.....chopped chives
3tbsp.....chopped dill
3oz........crumbled Gorgonzola

Preheat oven 275℉

1)   Cut tomatoes into halves and place skin-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Arrange thyme on top of them and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with salt and roast for about an hour or until it looks semi-dried (the sides of tomatoes will crinkle up).

2)  Place red onions in a owl and pour vinegar over them and sprinkle with salt.  Put aside for a few minutes.

3)  Add lentils to boiling water (about 1:2) and cook until tender (about 30-40min),  Drain well and add to the bowl with the onions.  Add olive oil, garlic and some black pepper.  Stir together and leave aside to cool.

4) Add all the chopped herbs to the bowl and gently mix together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

5) To serve, gently pile lentils and add in the gorgonzola and tomatoes.  ENJOY!

1 comment:

  1. Oooo the pictures of the tomatoes in rows looks like wall paper!


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