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

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.


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.


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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