Make Ahead

Anna Jones' Favorite Lentils with Roasted Tomatoes & Horseradish

October  3, 2017
14 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Thanks to a rather kooky cooking method and some unexpected toppings, these lentils' flavor is ratcheted up inside and out, so they become a hotly-anticipated meal unto themselves. Adapted slightly from A Modern Way to Cook (Fourth Estate, 2015). For the whole story, head here. —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • For the lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) Puy lentils, washed
  • 4 cloves unpeeled garlic
  • 1 small plum or beefsteak tomato
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable stock powder, or 1/2 a stock cube (optional)
  • A generous glug of olive oil
  • A splash of red wine vinegar
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • For the toppings
  • 14 ounces (400g) cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • Olive oil
  • A couple handfuls of whole-grain breadcrumbs
  • A small bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons jarred (or fresh) grated horseradish
  • A scant 1/2 cup (100ml) cottage cheese
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 425° F (220° C). Fill and boil a kettle with water and get all your ingredients together. You’ll need a big pot for your lentils.
  2. Put the lentils into the pan with the unpeeled garlic, whole tomato, a few sprigs of the thyme, the bay leaves, and the stock powder or cube, if using. Cover with 1 quart (1 liter) of hot water, place on medium heat bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down. Simmer and blip away for 25 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are soft and the water has mostly evaporated. If they are looking too dry, top off with a little more boiling water from the kettle.
  3. Meanwhile, roast the tomatoes. Cut them in half and put them cut-side-up on a rimmed baking sheet with some salt, pepper, and the zest of the lemon. Drizzle them with a little olive oil and put into the oven to roast and set a timer for 15 minutes.
  4. Next, on another baking sheet, mix the breadcrumbs with the thyme and roughly chopped garlic and drizzle with oil. Season with a little salt and pepper and set aside.
  5. Mix the horseradish with the cottage cheese and set aside.
  6. Once the tomatoes have had 15 minutes, put the pan of breadcrumbs into the oven and cook both for 5 minutes more, till the breadcrumbs are browned and crispy and the tomatoes are softened and sticky.
  7. By now the lentils should be cooked and all the water should have evaporated, so scoop out the tomato and the garlic and put them in a bowl. Once cool enough to handle, pop the garlic and tomato out of their skins and use a fork to mash them to a paste. Stir this paste back through the lentils. Taste, season with salt and pepper, then dress with a generous glug of olive oil and splash of red wine vinegar.
  8. Serve in deep bowls—a generous ladle of lentils topped with the tomatoes, horseradish sauce and finally a scattering of breadcrumbs.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stacey Snacks
    Stacey Snacks
  • MBE
  • samanthaalison
  • Zach Komes
    Zach Komes
  • Cheryl
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

21 Reviews

Stacey S. October 16, 2019
Excellent. Use Sabarot lentilles du Puy if you can find them....
I was out of cottage cheese, so mixed a little beet horseradish into sour cream.....DELICIOUS!
I roasted local yellow and red plum tomatoes (Ina's recipe) and topped with garlic panko crumbs. Ate it warm. So good, I can't wait to make it again!
MBE August 30, 2019
So yummy! I'm sure many look at this one and think no way can this be tasty but if you let yourself color outside the box it may be your next go to side. I love the whimsical blip, glug and splash! It's just a guide, let you inner cook come forward and give it a try.
MBE August 30, 2019
Also because I am not a vegetarian I used chicken broth paste instead of the vegetable. So if you found it a bit bland and are not vegetarian, give it a try.
samanthaalison August 13, 2019
These were pretty good but I think not quite worth the work/dishes for me. I would definitely take elements of this (horseradish as a great pair for tomatoes, cottage cheese as creamy element, breadcrumbs on top of something that needs extra texture, cooking the tomatoes/garlic with the lentils) but wouldn't make it again as written. I think it actually would have been better with raw cherry tomatoes rather than roasted.
Burton August 2, 2019
Pleasantly surprised by this recipe. The lentils themselves are actually somewhat bland, but the topping take the dish to really new and genuinely interesting places. The horseradish, especially, is an addition that I wouldn't have expected, but now can't wait to apply to other similar dishes. Next time, I'm going to try to make a cheater's version of this, with canned roasted tomatoes right in the lentils, and the horseradish and lemon zest added straight to the pot towards the end, rather than making an entire separate topping. If I remember, I'll try to post an update on how it turns out!
Zach K. February 2, 2019
These directions are really poorly written and should be revised (ie. kettle and pan are the same or different?) !
Cheryl December 9, 2017
The toppings were great, but the lentils were bland, even though I used more garlic.
Adam G. November 5, 2017
I just tried to make this, and my bread crumbs burnt up! I was using 'normal' and not whole wheat.. does that make a difference?
Kathryn R. November 4, 2017
Fight the urge to omit the cottage cheese. Yes it's an odd thing to add, but it's amazing. Second time around on this recipe, I'll probably swap out breadcrumbs for panko for more crunch. Seriously this is a delicious and simple recipe. Will be making this all winter.
Jenn T. October 17, 2017
These are so so yummy. They will definitely part of my regular rotation and I just realized I forgot the bread crumbs!!
Jenn T. October 17, 2017
Annnnnddd...I had leftovers with roasted sweet potato and squash also yum.
Heidi R. October 13, 2017
Also, if you don't want to make cottage cheese?
I discovered Cabot full-fat cottage cheese, and it is the BOMB.
margaret October 12, 2017
This was certainly delicious though somewhat time and labor intensive for a week night. The lentils took easily 50% moe time to cook down. The cottage cheese needed about 50% more horseradish. And sadly while great first time around leftovers iffy with reheating of cottage cheese topping
Selina October 10, 2017
The only question I have, is what is another term/description of puy lentils? I'm not normally a lentil person, and I picked the wrong ones the first time I made this. Any alternate lentil suggestions would also suffice, since I can't seem to get any kind of texture other than mush. (Albeit, delicious mush!)
Heidi R. October 13, 2017
They are the same as (dark) green lentils, and I've seen them referred to as French lentils. Different lentils have different cooking times (red being the fastest, these being the longest--I think!). If you can only find the olive-colored ones (I believe you can find these in the Goya section, so they are also cheaper), they are somewhere in the middle range of cooking times, but also good, and I think they'd work well with this recipe.
Jennifer O. October 17, 2017
Look for "French green" lentils.
Selina October 10, 2017
So, these lentils have just elevated themselves to my esteemed list of comfort foods. I made them a week ago and cannot stop thinking about them. They embody all the tastiness of my Italian culinary background with an exciting cottage cheese contingent and horseradish flavour for punch. Thank you for bringing these into my life!
Barbara L. October 5, 2017
What does "blip away" mean in the instructions for cooking the lentils? I assume it must mean cook - but I don't know if it is a specific term, a mistake like a typo or something else.
Kristen M. October 5, 2017
She just means to simmer—I added a note to make sure that's clear.
MeanGreenBean November 15, 2017
Maybe that term just needs to be omitted from the recipe. I've never heard of the term "blip" to mean simmer. Blip usually means "an unexpected, minor, and typically temporary deviation from a general trend." It reads like an error in the recipe, unfortunately
Rick W. February 28, 2018
It’s an onomatopoeia for a soft simmer. You hear it everywhere on cooking shows.