Saturday, March 18, 2006

Where Do Lentils Grow?


If you know the answer to this question, you are ahead of three of us who are all good cooks who didn’t have a clue when I raised the question yesterday. I seem to have a weekend of cooking that includes lentils in various recipes, so I had reason to be thinking about lentils.

We postulated about a lentil bush, a lentil tree, a lentil bud (like a caper). But no one seemed to know the answer. Did you ever hear someone say, “I think I’ll try lentils this year in my backyard garden”? So I resorted to Google and found out about this interesting source of food. It is a legume that grows in pods on a low bush. Check out this site for a more thorough description. The map shows where they grow in North America.
Meanwhile my lentil salad (to feed 60) is delicious (thanks to Elizabeth who tweaked the recipe) and I have yet to make the dal for tomorrow.

Here is the recipe for lentil salad:

Mediterranean Lentil Salad With Lemon Herb Dressing

1 c. Lentils (tiny French ones)
1 Onion stuck w. 2 cloves
1 Bay leaf
Pinch of crushed red pepper

2 ribs Celery thinly s1iced
2 Carrots thinly sliced
2 Scallions thinly sliced
1/3 c. Kalamata olives - chopped pitted-brine cured

Put lentils, onion & bay leaf in saucepan. Add water to cover. Simmer until tender (30-40 m.)

Drain well. Place in large bowl. Mix in vegetables Garnish with the feta after dressing the salad. Dress with Lemon Herb Dressing while lentils are still warm.

(Can be made 1 day ahead.)

Serves 15

LEMON HERB VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and zest from 1 lemon
1 tbs minced fresh parsley
1 tbs minced fresh oregano or mint
Salt, black pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients in bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Comments:

Blogger Kate said...

For 60? Guessing that would be hard to make for 1.

:-))

Sounds delicious though, so if there is any left over, you know where I live.

hahaha

3:59 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kate -- This was for a bar mitzvah at TM. I took home empty containers! Actually the recipe is quite easy and I think the proportions are forgiving!

4:44 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Balducci's is a great source for those tiny green French lentils.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Sounds lovely.

8:06 AM  

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