Lentil Timbales with Lemon Chive Butter

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Lentil Timbales


SourceAdapted from delicious.uk magazine
Prep time1 hour
Cooking time30 minutes
Total time1 hour, 30 minutes


This recipe makes four individual chard leaf-wrapped “packets” of layered lentils, tomatoes, and feta cheese. They are cooked in ramekins and inverted onto each plate. While the presentation is pretty enough to make for friends, the flavors are classic rustic comfort food. This recipe was taught in a recent City Market class called “The Winter Inspired Vegetarian,” with Jessica Bongard of Sweet Lime Cooking Studio.


tomato (large)
3 tablespoons
olive oil (plus extra for drizzling and brushing)
Swiss chard (medium leaves)
3/4 cup
lentils, French (rinsed)
leek (medium)
2 cloves
garlic (minced)
thyme, fresh (sprigs, leaves chopped)
8 ounces
cheese, feta
1 tablespoon
mint, fresh
6 tablespoons
lemon (zest and juice)
1 tablespoon
chives (chopped)


Preheat the oven to 400F.  Slice your tomatoes thickly, getting about 3 slices from each one.  Place the slices on a lined baking tray, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until slices begin to color.

While tomatoes are roasting, bring a pan of water to a boil, drop in the chard leaves and boil for 1 minute. You want them to be soft enough to be flexible, but not tender enough to tear. Set aside on paper towels to drain and cool. While you are working on the chard leaves, you can have your lentils cooking at the same time. Simmer the lentils for 10-15 minutes: You want them to be cooked, but still on the firm side. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water, and let them sit in the colander for a moment. 

In a wide pan, heat 2 Tbs. of olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the thyme and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Stir in the lentils, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.

Slice the feta cheese into four slices approximately the shape and size of the ramekins. Scatter with mint.

Brush the insides of four ramekins with olive oil.  Line the ramekins with chard leaves - depending on the size, perhaps 2-3 leaves. You want enough of the leaves to hang over the ramekin to form a parcel later.  Put 1-2 slices of roasted tomato in the bottom of each, and a large spoonful of lentils on top.  Then layer a slice of minted feta cheese on top of the lentil layer. Add another spoonful of lentils, and add another tomato slice on top of that. Fold over the chard leaves to close each parcel and press down firmly. (An optional step is to press down on the whole packet and drain some of the watery juices over the sink).  Turn your oven down to 375F.  Place the ramekins on a baking tray. Drizzle the tops with a bit of olive oil.  Bake for 15 minutes or so until the top layer of chard is crisping.

While they are baking, make the lemon-chive butter: Melt the butter with the lemon juice and zest in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in chives and season with salt and pepper.  Keep warm.

Serve timbales turned out on a plate with lemon-chive butter spooned over the parcels.