Baked Ricotta with Lentils, Herbs and Roasted Tomatoes

This has fast become a favorite recipe. At first I wasn’t sure if it would work - I’ve never heard of baked ricotta, except of course as part of a spinach and ricotta lasagne or a different meal. But the creamy, nutty ricotta with the roasted tomatoes and onions and lemony lentils, all goes together so well! This is a great light main course for 2 people or a side for 3-4. Goes really well with baked salmon. 

Baked ricotta with lentils and roasted tomatoes

(makes a meal for 2 or a side for 3-4)

1 cup Puy or Beluga lentils
1 tbsp powdered stock of your choice (or half a cube)
2 cups water
2 brown onions
A few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon
1 whole ricotta (250g)
300g cherry tomatoes on the vine
A few sprigs of herbs like thyme, basil, rosemary

Pre-heat your oven to 200C. 

Add your lentils, stock and water and cook as per instructions on the lentils package. You may need to add a little more water as per instructions. You can also use a packet of already cooked lentils. For my lentils, I used chicken stock, brought them to the boil, then turned down to a simmer and cooked them for 25 minutes. They were “al dente”, not too soft with a little bite to them.

Meanwhile prepare your onions. Cut the onions into boats and put into a roasting tin or oven safe serving dish. Drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Shake or mix, just make sure your onions are evenly coated in olive oil. Roast for 10-15 minutes until golden brown, but not too crisp. 
Zest the lemon and squeeze out the juice. 

Once your lentils are done, add the lemon zest and juice, a drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Toss the lemony lentils and onions together in your roasting tin or oven safe serving dish. Place your ricotta perfectly in the center(-ish). Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, cherry tomatoes on the vine and herbs. I’ve used thyme, but I can tell you from experience that basil and rosemary also work well! 

Place your lentil-tomato-ricotta concoction in the oven, for 30-35 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy! 

Recipe adapted from Good Food.