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SEASONAL RECIPES

Recipe: For this simple vegetarian meal, bake lentils with cherry tomatoes and chunks of feta

Baked Lentils with Tomatoes and Feta.Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 4

Here's a simple vegetarian meal: Cook some lentils on top of the stove with coriander, cumin, oregano, red onion, and a little tomato paste. Then tip them into a baking dish and and send them into the oven topped with cherry tomatoes and slices from a block of feta. Make it pretty with herbs, add a bowl of salad greens tossed with your favorite dressing, some crusty bread, and extra olive oil. Voila! Supper is served.

1tablespoon olive oil
1tablespoon tomato paste
2teaspoons dried oregano
½teaspoon ground coriander
¼teaspoon ground cumin
½ red onion, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into thin slices
3cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
2cups Le Puy or other small green lentils, rinsed and drained
cups water
2teaspoons kosher salt
1pint cherry tomatoes, stems removed, each pierced once with a paring knife
1block (8 ounces) feta, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
2tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (for garnish)

1. Set the oven at 450 degrees. Have on hand a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

2. In a large flameproof casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil. Stir in the tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of the oregano, coriander, cumin, red onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Add the lentils, 6 cups of the water, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. There should still be a little excess liquid in the pot. Don’t drain it. Remove and discard the garlic cloves.

4. Transfer the lentils to the baking dish. Arrange the tomatoes on top and bake for 10 minutes.

5. Remove the dish from the oven. If the lentils look dry, add the remaining 1/4 cup water. Arrange the feta slices on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon oregano and some olive oil. Return the dish to the oven and continue baking for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the feta is soft and starting to melt. (Total baking time is 22 to 25 minutes.)

6. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley and more olive oil, if you like.

Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 4

Here's a simple vegetarian meal: Cook some lentils on top of the stove with coriander, cumin, oregano, red onion, and a little tomato paste. Then tip them into a baking dish and and send them into the oven topped with cherry tomatoes and slices from a block of feta. Make it pretty with herbs, add a bowl of salad greens tossed with your favorite dressing, some crusty bread, and extra olive oil. Voila! Supper is served.

1tablespoon olive oil
1tablespoon tomato paste
2teaspoons dried oregano
½teaspoon ground coriander
¼teaspoon ground cumin
½ red onion, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into thin slices
3cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
2cups Le Puy or other small green lentils, rinsed and drained
cups water
2teaspoons kosher salt
1pint cherry tomatoes, stems removed, each pierced once with a paring knife
1block (8 ounces) feta, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
2tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (for garnish)

1. Set the oven at 450 degrees. Have on hand a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

2. In a large flameproof casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil. Stir in the tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of the oregano, coriander, cumin, red onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Add the lentils, 6 cups of the water, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. There should still be a little excess liquid in the pot. Don’t drain it. Remove and discard the garlic cloves.

4. Transfer the lentils to the baking dish. Arrange the tomatoes on top and bake for 10 minutes.

5. Remove the dish from the oven. If the lentils look dry, add the remaining 1/4 cup water. Arrange the feta slices on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon oregano and some olive oil. Return the dish to the oven and continue baking for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the feta is soft and starting to melt. (Total baking time is 22 to 25 minutes.)

6. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley and more olive oil, if you like.Sally Pasley Vargas