"Noah was a brave man to sail in a wooden boat with two termites." - Anonymous

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Food - Warm Lentil Salad

Excuse the quality of the above photo. I'm still a novice when it comes to taking pictures with my phone. I was at work, and this was my lunch.

When I need some cozy comfort food I quite often turn to lentils. Lentil soup is a favourite. But sometimes I don't want to make a big batch of soup. Sometimes I just want something I can whip up in the evening to have at work the next day.

French green lentils are my favourite. I discovered them about 5 or 6 years ago. At the time the only place I could find them was in bulk at the organic food store miles away, or in tiny little bags at the high-end grocers even further away. Then the distributor my food co-op uses started carrying them. Now I am the proud owner of a 10-pound bag of Lentils du Puy.

Here's one of my favourite warm salad recipes with lentils. Easy peasy, filling, comforting, and make-ahead friendly.

Warm Lentil Salad (makes 4 filling side servings)

1 cup French green lentils
1 1/2 cups water
bouquet garni (I like thyme and bay leaf for this)
balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
nut oil of your choice
toasted nuts of your choice (preferably the same as the nut oil)
salt and pepper to taste
Put lentils, water, and bouquet garni into a pot and set over high heat. Once it's come to a boil, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are al dente. Drain any remaining water and remove the bouquet.

Drizzle with vinegar and oils to taste, and toss with toasted nuts. Season to taste. Before eating, crumble with feta or chevre. Enjoy!

Like I said above, this is a great make-ahead for lunches (and cheap!). I just pack it up, and bring it to work. Warm it in the microwave and crumble the cheese on top.

This is a fantastic recipe for experimenting. Different nuts, different oils, different cheeses or herbs, you could even add a quarter onion or garlic to the pot will the lentils are simmering. So many different combinations for that background essence. My favourite right now is walnuts and chevre. Play around and come up with your own favourite.

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