A fresh and healthy starter for the perfect summer menu
300g green lentils
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
350g ricotta salata
1 tsp fresh oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
6 heirloom tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
A few basil leaves
For the dressing:
125ml extra-virgin olive oil
60ml sherry vinegar
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Rinse the lentils and drain. Put them in a saucepan with plenty of cold water, the bay leaves and the garlic. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 25 minutes until tender. Drain, rinse with cold water and cool. Discard the bay leaves and garlic.
2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/ 190ºC/375ºF. Cut the ricotta into small wedges, scatter with oregano and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake in a heatproof dish for about 15 minutes, until the ricotta turns golden, then set aside to cool.
3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and season thoroughly.
4. Lay the lentils and tomatoes in a serving dish. Pour over the dressing and mix well. Crumble the ricotta over the top, and garnish with a few torn basil leaves.