Puy lentils from France’s Haute-Loire region are celebrated for their robust, earthy flavor, which shines in this lively salad from Pelle Lundberg, a home cook in Vickleby, Sweden. The lentils, tossed with cherry tomatoes sautéed in butter and olive oil, flavored with rosemary and thyme, and then dressed in balsamic, make a festive vegetarian main course or a robust side dish for a Swedish Midsummer lunch. This recipe first appeared in the tablet edition of our June/July 2014 issue with Per Styregard’s story “A Midsummer’s Dream.”
- 1 lb. puy lentils
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 small shallots, quartered lengthwise
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 tbsp. roughly chopped thyme
- 2 tsp. roughly chopped rosemary
- 3 tbsp. roughly chopped parsley
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring lentils and 8 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to medium; cook until lentils are tender, but not mushy, 18–20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl; set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp. oil and the butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shallots until soft, 4–6 minutes. Add tomatoes, thyme, and rosemary; cook until tomatoes begin to break down, 6–8 minutes. Let cool slightly; transfer to bowl with lentils. Add remaining oil, the parsley, balsamic, bell pepper, salt, and pepper; toss to combine.