It is said that lentils are symbolic of money. Once cooked, the round “seeds” swell a little and resemble coins. When you think about what ancient Roman coins look like—irregularly round and brown in color, the commonality between lentils and good fortune makes a lot more sense. In Italy, most families ring in the new year with some sort of lentil dish, wishing for good fortune in wealth and in happiness.
Although often cooked with sausages or as thickening in a hearty fall soup, I was hoping to find a lentil recipe that wouldn’t be too heavy, especially during the 90+ degree August evenings we’d been having! I knew I’d find the perfect recipe in one of Yotam Ottolenghi cookbooks…he’s one of my all time favorite chefs! And there it was in his cookbook titled “Plenty!”
With just a few ingredients and a simple dressing he’s created Castelluccio Lentils with Gorgonzola and Tomatoes. It’s such a delicious dish with lentils as the main attraction; just what you need during the final days of summer! You can add a bit of cooked chicken to make it a main course, or enjoy as a vegetarian main course…filling and fulfilling! Leftovers…even better (if there are any!).
Enjoy this unique and flavorful salad on your table during all seasons…Winter, spring, summer or fall. When the months are warmer, you’ll appreciate the tangy flavors of the roasted tomatoes lightening up the salad. During cooler days the time in the oven brings the sweetness and robust flavors to this hearty salad.
Add this dish to any occasion…may it bring to you good fortune all life long!
Recipe from Plenty, A cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi