French Lentilicious

A Lentil Haiku (sort of)

Busy. Busy. Busy.
Quick lunch hour
(the market calls)

Scanning dry bins
de Puy French lentils here
$3.09/lb.??? Whoa.

Must. Have. Lentils.

Luscious little babies
Good for salad
Good with salmon
Good with grilled things
Good for you!

A recipe in mind
French Lentil Salad

Happiness.

Resting from last long post
more food soon
(wink!)

French Lentilicious Salad
(can be halved, full recipe will feed 8 as side portions)

For cooking the lentils:
2 cups dried green de Puy French lentils, carefully picked through for stones and rinsed (do not soak)
1/2 onion, peeled
1 whole clove garlic, peeled
1 carrot, washed, trimmed and cut into 3 inch chunks
1 stalk celery, washed, trimmed and cut into 3 inch chunks
4 cups low salt chicken broth, or you can use water

For the salad:
1 large carrot, peeled, trimmed and finely diced
1 cup of finely diced celery, preferably hearts with a few leaves
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper

For the dressing:
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 generous teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a deep medium sized saucepan, combine the dry lentils, the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer/low boil and allow the lentils to cook until just tender, about 25 minutes, but test them at 20…you don’t want them mushy. When the lentils are done, drain the liquid, remove the solid onion, garlic, carrot and celery, and place the lentils into a bowl to cool a bit.

While the lentils are cooling, make your dressing. Combine the parsley, thyme, vinegar and dijon in a small bowl with a whisk. Add the olive oil in a slow stream, whisking to emulsify. Season with the salt and pepper.

To the warm lentils, add the diced carrot, celery and red pepper, and stir gently to incorporate. Pour the whisked dressing over the salad, and stir gently to coat. You can serve immediately warm, or allow about 30 minutes for the flavors to develop and serve at room temperature, or serve it chilled. This is wonderful with a bit of grilled salmon served over it. We also enjoy it as a side dish to just about anything grilled, and as part of a veggie meal…you can’t go wrong! Will keep in the fridge for a few days.

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Salad Days

Salad daysis an idiomatic expression, referring to a youthful time, accompanied by the inexperience, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence, or indiscretion that one associates with a young person. More modern use, especially in the United States, refers to a person’s heyday when somebody was at the peak of his/her abilities—not necessarily in that person’s youth. ~Wikipedia

Hmmm. I think somehow the term applies to this post.

For instance, it is Spring here in the northern hemisphere—as I’ve now gone on about ad nauseam—a youthful and innocent time for plants in the garden which are inexperienced in protecting themselves against insects and rabbits, not to mention very large cats who view direct-seeded spots in the garden as litter box potential…ewwwwww! And what’s more, it’s also the heyday of certain veggies like the noble asparagus, at the peak of its taste and ability to inspire new dishes.

Yep, it works for me! Continue reading

Bourbon-Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

A match made in heaven...Bourbon-Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad. Yes indeed, I'm gonna make these two together again!

This week we’ve had quite a warm spell and my plans to make either my recipes for either split-pea soup or chicken noodle soup—soup being one of my favorite meals this time of year—went by the wayside when the temps went up to the mid-60’s and then 70 degrees. Really? In January? This time last year most folks here were racing for the grocery store like the non-snow savvy southerners that we are, trying to out-buy each other in the milk, bread, salt and chili-making ingredient categories, and battening down our hatches for what turned out to be a significant snow storm that shut Atlanta down for several days….not that it actually takes snow to do that, as you already know if you live here!

Continue reading

This, that and the other…

Smiling eggs make better brownies.

I could get with this…or I could get with that… (You’re envisioning the Kia Soul Hamster Rap commercial, aren’t you?) Basically, this sums up my thoughts on my pantry and fridge contents last night as I faced making dinner. We’re finally getting some rain here, and I was happy to stay in and make a meal. But, what to make? I had no real plan, and I had bits of this and bits of that for ingredients. When in doubt, make a salad and some pasta! Continue reading

A Little Taste of the Mediterranean

Mediterranean Pasta Salad finished with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.

I’ve always loved a great pasta salad, full of fresh ingredients and lightly dressed. Last night I felt inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean and decided to make my pasta salad by the same name. It’s easy, makes a lot, and keeps for several days. This recipe has been the hit of many a party or pot luck gathering, and is a pretty and filling summer entree all by itself. You can find the full recipe here and the step by step is below. Mangia!

To your cooked pasta, add scallion or shallot, parsley, arugula, fresh tomatoes and Kalamata olives. But don't stir yet!

Then add the artichoke hearts with the marinade, sun-dried tomatoes with 1/4 cup of their oil, the tuna and it's oil, and then stir to combine. Lastly add the feta cheese, salt and pepper and stir again. Chill to blend the flavors and eat!