Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Dinner Bell ~ Fresh Hobbit Food

My palette is very confused, due to the nuts-o weather that we have had, this past week.  Temps in the upper 60's, with serious tornado's just an hour from us, on one day.....then snow, the next.  Sooo.....went to the Piggly ~ Wiggly to do our grocery shopping.....and was having a hard time deciding what to buy.  Continue with our regular soups and stews.....or pull out my spring and summer menu?  The warm temps this week really teased me, and I started hankering for one of my sunshine recipes, that we eat quite regularly during the warm weather months.....

.....Lentil Salad.

I know it sounds very strange.....but it will change your life.  Along with the spinach noodle recipe, that I posted a few weeks ago.....this is also one of my comfort foods.  I could have a serious lack of feminine appeal while eating this.....it would be in my top "if you were stranded on a desert island" foods.  When I make this.....I have to double batch it.....this stuff doesn't last long.....and I would like to say it's because my guys are all over it......Scout really does love it.  But alas.....that would be fraudulent blogging.  I could sit down, and eat the whole double batch by myself, in one setting.  Notice I said "could"..... I have never done it.  If you are not careful, you could have a serious case of "colon~blow."

R2D2 discovered this treasure back in the 80's.  She was a fan of Jeff Smith, who had a PBS cooking show, "The Frugal Gourmet."  Of course, most ten year old girls are not interested in old men, who are cooking on public television, so I would usually just sit next to my mom while playing Barbies.  I could recognize the tune that would play, before and after the show, to this day.....and I can still hear him say, at each closing....."I bid you peace."  This dish was included in Jeff Smith's first cookbook, The Frugal Gourmet, and when R2 began making it.....it quickly became a staple in our household.  I don't know where I would be today.....without Lentil Salad.

THE STUFF:

~ 1 1/2 cups lentils
~ 1/2 teaspoon salt
~ 1/2 cup chopped parsley.....MUST be fresh people......NOT the dried nastiness.
~ 6 green onions.....chopped
~ 8 tablespoons of olive oil
~ Juice of two lemons.....or.....2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a pinch.....but fresh is better.
~ 2 cloves of garlic.....crushed.  Yes......the actual clove crushed in a garlic press.  You could get by with the minced garlic in a jar, in a pinch....but.....yep.....FRESH.  IS.  BETTER.
~ Black pepper to taste.....I like to grind it fresh.  (Oh hush!  R2 taught me to prefer fresh.....I am listening to my mother!)
~ 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
~ 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

WHIPPIN' IT UP:

~ Cover the lentils with water and bring them to a boil, then simmer until tender.....but not mushy.....'bout 30 minutes-ish.
~ Drain and completely cool them.
~ Place them in a bowl, and add the salt, parsley, and green onions.
~ Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper, coriander, and cumin......a whisk is helpful here.
~ Toss with the lentils and chill.  Seriously, it is more tasty when you chill it overnight.....gives time for all the ingredients to meld......but.....sometimes I cannot wait that long.

Traditionally, we have scarfed it down with corn chips.....but if you were a fly on the wall, you could maybe catch me double fist-ting it, with two large spoons.....not really.  I am not that far gone.  It is supposed to serve 6......but that depends on who's eating it.....such as hobbit type women, with tire tubes, lacking feminine appeal......yep.....those women could down a whole double batch in one setting.

I triple dog dare ya' to try it.....

I bid you fresh peace.


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