Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lentil Love

I just realized something. I haven't paid a visit to my favorite Recipes for Health column in a while. Maybe because I haven't really been cooking in a while. Must be the recent discovery of the Yakitori place down the block from me or the box of chocolates from Norman Love that I recently received. Or both. Oh, I'm eating. Just not cooking.

One RFH recipe that I have made a few times is a simple lentil concoction that is as great as a side dish served warm as it is as a leftover cold salad, served alone or on greens sprinkled with toasted pine nuts. I love all beans but since dried lentils cook up so much faster than other beans and don't require soaking, that means more food in my belly fast! And they're good for you. Or so I've been told.

Warm Lentils With Goat Cheese

1 pound green or beluga lentils (about 2 1/4 cups), washed and picked over
1 medium onion, cut in half and peeled
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut in rounds
1/4 cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cooking liquid from the lentils
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Place the lentils in a large saucepan or soup pot with the halved onion, the garlic cloves, and the bay leaf. Add enough water to cover by 1 1/2 inches. Bring to a simmer, add 1 teaspoon salt, cover and simmer 25 - 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender all the way through but intact. Set a strainer over a bowl and drain the lentils. Remove the onion halves, bay leaf, and garlic and discard. Return the liquid to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to 1/2 cup.

2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Whisk together the vinegar, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and cooking liquid from the lentils. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with the lentils. Stir in the parsley, place in a baking dish and top with the rounds of goat cheese. Heat through for 15 minutes, until the goat cheese has softened, and serve. Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish salad or 8 as a side dish.

Advance preparation: The lentils can be made and tossed with the dressing up to 3 days ahead. Do not add the parsley until just before warming the salad.

1 comment:

WendyB said...

Ever feeling like sharing some recipes for babies? Not for people who are babies about cooking, I mean small infant-type people.