Lentil salad is one of the primary issues I ever discovered how one can make, over 30 years in the past, and I’m nonetheless making it right this moment…
Part of the explanation for it’s because it jogs my memory of my finest pal’s mom, Rosa, one of my first cooking heroes. She had a wood recipe field on her kitchen counter that was full of Craig Claiborne clippings from The New York Times, and was the one particular person I knew who made particular journeys to trace down particular elements, by no means fairly content material with the native grocery store the place the remainder of us shopped. No matter after I walked into her kitchen, it smelled superb, and finest of all, for 2 always-starving youngsters (Rosa’s daughter, Jeni, and me) the fridge was all the time full of leftovers. We knew we hit pay dust when these leftovers had been her shepherd’s pie or her lentil salad.
The different motive I’m nonetheless making her lentils is that they’re really easy. Easy sufficient for an formidable teenager to make and a straightforward sufficient start line for a busy one who needs to simply ensure there’s one thing wholesome on the dinner desk, for herself or her household. The recipe that Rosa handed to me (which I later copied in my very own handwriting and glued into my spiral-bound “recipe book” — that’s how younger I used to be and the way outdated I’m) known as for boiling the lentils in beef broth and tossing the salad with tarragon vinegar. It can be a very long time earlier than I turned assured sufficient to have the thought Maybe I can use one other vinegar apart from tarragon? And one other broth apart from beef? And lately, the lentils are tossed with no matter vinegar I’ve within the pantry: white balsamic or sherry or pink wine or white wine, and simmered in no matter liquid I’ve available. The different huge distinction? I deploy it as a important dish greater than a aspect dish. All I’ve to do is add a flaked salmon, a cooked crumbled sausage, or a seven-minute egg, and I’ve the perfect type of dinner: wholesome, straightforward, sentimental.
Warm Lentil Salad
Makes 4 sides or 3 mains
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
2 1/2 – 3 cups liquid (vegetable inventory, hen inventory, beef inventory, water, or any mixture of them) or sufficient to cowl lentils by about an inch
1 bunch scallions (white and lightweight inexperienced components), minced
3 tablespoons chopped bell pepper, any colour, I like pink (or extra to style)
leaves from 4 sprigs of contemporary thyme (or a beneficiant handful finely chopped parsley)
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
little lower than 1/4 cup vinegar (I used white balsamic, however you should use tarragon, pink wine, common balsamic)
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
In a medium pot, boil lentils in broth-water combo, then scale back warmth and simmer for 12-Quarter-hour. While lentils are cooking, make your dressing by whisking collectively mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. When lentils are tender, however nonetheless holding their form (style a number of to find out tenderness) drain in a colander. Toss lentils whereas heat with scallions, pepper, thyme and French dressing.
Protein Add-Ins: Two hyperlinks cooked, crumbled candy Italian sausages or a 3/4-pound salmon filet (baked at 400°F for 12-Quarter-hour), flaked; fried eggs or 7-minute eggs drizzled with chili oil.
P.S. Start with spicy hen items and 5 issues to do with a hen cutlet.