Lentil salad is without doubt one of the first issues I ever realized the way to make, over 30 years in the past, and I’m nonetheless making it at present…
A part of the explanation for it is because it jogs my memory of my finest good friend’s mom, Rosa, certainly one of my first cooking heroes. She had a picket recipe field on her kitchen counter that was full of Craig Claiborne clippings from The New York Occasions, and was the one individual I knew who made particular journeys to trace down particular substances, by no means fairly content material with the native grocery store the place the remainder of us shopped. Regardless of after I walked into her kitchen, it smelled superb, and better of all, for 2 always-starving youngsters (Rosa’s daughter, Jeni, and me) the fridge was all the time filled with leftovers. We knew we hit pay dust when these leftovers have been her shepherd’s pie or her lentil salad.
The opposite motive I’m nonetheless making her lentils is that they’re really easy. Straightforward sufficient for an formidable teenager to make and a simple sufficient place to begin for a busy one that needs to simply be certain that 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in my very own handwriting and glued into my spiral-bound “recipe guide” — that’s how younger I used to be and the way outdated I’m) referred to as for boiling the lentils in beef broth and tossing the salad with tarragon vinegar. It could be a very long time earlier than I grew to become assured sufficient to have the thought Possibly I can use one other vinegar moreover tarragon? And one other broth moreover beef? And today, the lentils are tossed with no matter vinegar I’ve within the pantry: white balsamic or sherry or purple wine or white wine, and simmered in no matter liquid I’ve readily available. The opposite massive distinction? I deploy it as a foremost 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 very best form of dinner: wholesome, straightforward, sentimental.
Heat Lentil Salad
Makes 4 sides or 3 mains
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
2 1/2 – 3 cups liquid (vegetable inventory, rooster 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 shade, I like purple (or extra to style)
leaves from 4 sprigs of recent 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, purple 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. Whereas 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 couple 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.