Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How I Actually Eat: Winter Comfort Style

So if you woke up and your back yard looked like this:

















Wouldn't you say to yourself, Self, this is a GREAT a day to skip Civil Procedure, stay in, have another cup of coffee, and leisurely peruse salon.com?  'Cause I sure did.  Sue me (hah!  I'm a lawyer-to-be; saying that is completely legit), I'm from Florida, and How to Drive In This Stuff was never on our driving test.

Anyway, I wanted something winterey and comforting when I got home this afternoon, so I made my go-to lentil salad recipe and roasted some potatoes I've had stashed away (red from Downing Hollow Farms and sweet from Windermere Farms and Apiaries) to satisfy my craving for something rich (but cheap).  That was filling enough for me, but you could, of course, add some greens or soup to round it out if you wanted.

Also, there aren't many pictures because I was SWC: Skyping While Cooking.  It felt like a cooking show in here, ya'll!

Lentil Salad
adapted from The Art of Simple Food (which I love love love) by Alice Waters*

1 cup brown lentils
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt
Freshly-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons diced shallot
3 tablespoons chopped parsley (I used dried and just threw in a bit at a time and tasted it til it tasted right)
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese (I used feta from Bonnie Blue Farms)


















Sort and rinse the lentils (there might be little rocks in them).  Cover with water by 3 inches and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain.  Toss the lentils with the red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Let sit for five minutes.  Taste and add more salt and vinegar if needed.  Add the olive oil, shallot, parsley, stir to combine.  Garnish with the feta cheese. 

















While the lentils are simmering away, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Wash, peel and cut up your potatoes and sweet potatoes (I used a 1:2 ratio).  Cutting them into similar sizes helps them cook more evenly (the little matchsticks ones burned!).  Toss them with some olive oil, enough to coat them evenly (as you can see from the picture, I probably used a little too much), and sprinkle some salt on them.  Spread them evenly on a cookie sheet and roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until you can stick a fork in 'em easily.

When they come out, sprinkle some red wine vinegar on them, and then toss them with lots of dried basil.  Sweet potatoes and dried basil love each other.  They should probably go on a date or something.

















And voila, you have an easy, filling and tasty lunch.  Red wine vinegar+olive oil=winning combination.  The tartness of one plays off the richness of the other.  Perfect for a snow day.

*who has, apparently, been having some pretty public altercations lately, for which she is getting spanked by the blogosphere...
http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2009/01/the_limitations_of_the_alice_w.html

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