Monday, March 7, 2011

Ivory Lentil Salad, Strawberries and Buttermilk

As I am sitting in front of the screen trying to write this post, my mind went blank.

I have been cooking and photographing so many recipes lately that it is hard to remember which recipe I was going to tell you about. "Wait, was it the snapper or the vegetable tart?... Wait, what was I going to talk about?". It gets confusing.

I also realized that most of my blogging has been set aside for weekend cooking and baking when mom and I spend time in the kitchen together. I hope you don't mind. I hope that our everyday simple meals are also interesting enough to draw you into the kitchen. I hope so.

So just as we have been doing every Sunday morning, yesterday we headed out to the farmers market. It was sunny, breezy and beautiful. We did our round and got our usual eggs, heirloom cherry tomatoes, radishes and strawberries. Also several kinds of greens and beets.

Do you ever get anxiety after you go to the farmers market? I do. A good kind of anxiety. The kind that makes me want to cook everything at once and photograph it as soon as we get home. The fresher the better.

"Wait, don't put those away yet" I told my mom. "I need to take photos of them". She shook her head.

While I was upstairs shooting, she cooked some ivory lentils for lunch. They cook in about 20 minutes and have the perfect texture for a salad. A little bite still left in them. Perfect with spicy radishes, peppery watercress, sweet julienne carrots and a chili and garlic vinaigrette.

Kai Kai Farms had beautiful tiny little strawberries. So sweet. Then I remembered this recipe and decided to adapt it to include buttermilk, millet and a little bit of corn flour for some extra texture.

It was so good. We had it after dinner while playing a game of "Go Fish".

I also wanted to tell you that I am honored to be listed in Babble's Top 100 surrounded by such great bloggers. Thank you!

Spring Ivory Lentil Salad with Spicy Garlic Vinaigrette

Serves 4

1 cup ivory lentils, rinsed
3 cups cold water
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup radishes, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
2 cups watercress, washed
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp chili flakes
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, water and salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and cool for 5 minutes.

Toss the lentils, radishes, carrots and watercress.

To prepare the vinaigrette, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan. Add the garlic and chili flakes. Cook for 2 minutes or until it starts to get a bit of color. Do not burn the garlic. Add the vinegar. It will splatter so stand back. Turn the heat off and swirl the vinegar into the oil. Pour over the salad. Season wih salt and pepper. Toss and serve.

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