Friday, June 13, 2008

Lentil Salad with Fresh Mint, Roasted Peppers and Feta Cheese

Well, I’ve done over 100 posts on Feeding Groom and, like so many others that have posted recently, the welcome and the new friends have made such an impact on our lives here at the Red Brick Ranchero.

So has the food.

Groom has now joined the ranks of the medicated for high cholesterol. Is it my fault? Did I pick the wrong foods? I would say no. Well, maybe.

At any rate, in an effort to curb the cholesterol that is running rampant around here, the eating habits and menu choices have undergone a rather drastic change. Red meat is no longer the go-to meal. I’m sure the beef and lamb population is growing by leaps and bounds and pigs are breathing a sigh of relief. Shrimp will become less of an option.

Moderation is the new key to life here, so these foods won’t totally disappear.

They’ll just spend quality time with us.

Here’s a great recipe for Lentil Salad with Fresh Mint, Roasted Peppers and Feta Cheese with is perfect with a beautiful piece of Grilled Steelhead Trout or salmon on top.

Very French, this is.

Very good for you too!

Lentil Salad with Fresh Mint, Roasted Peppers and Feta Cheese
Adapted from The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison

1-½ cups small French lentils,
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into small squares
½ small Vidalia onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Good pinch coarse salt
2 large red bell peppers
1 tbsp fresh chopped mint
4 tbsp chopped mixed herbs..I used cilantro, Italian parsley and thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
Sherry vinegar to taste
8 ounces feta cheese
Extra virgin olive oil for garnish
Lemon Vinaigrette

Rinse the lentils, cover them generously with water and bring to boil with carrot, onion, bay leaf, garlic and salt. Simmer til cooked about 25 minutes. They should be tender and still hold their shape. Drain.

While lentils are cooking, roast the peppers over a flame until evenly charred and put in covered bowl to steam for 20 minutes or so. Then scrape off the charred skins with a knife. Don’t rinse under water. Slit open , remove the seed and cut into squares.

Fold vinaigrette into warm lentils. Add mint, herbs and peppers. Taste and season with freshly ground black pepper and salt if needed. Taste again, and this is a great hint..splash a bit of sherry vinegar on the lentils to brighten the flavors. It really works.
Crumble the feta cheese and gently stir into the lentils.
If you have grilled fish, plate on top of the salad and sprinkle a bit more chopped herbs for garnish.

Lemon Vinaigrette

Juice and peel of one large lemon
¼ tsp smoked sweet Spanish paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic confit
Coarse salt to taste
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Remove two wide strips of peel from the lemon with a vegetable peeler and slice them into narrow slivers. Put 3 tbsp of lemon juice in a bowl with the lemon peel, paprika, cayenne, garlic and salt. Which in the olive oil and adjust seasoning for tartness, adding more lemon juice or oil, whichever is needed.

Salad serves 4.


noble pig said...

Hey this looks wonderful! I'm sure the groom appreciates your concern!

cook eat FRET said...

long live groom!

i'm looking forward to hearing if anyones weight/cholesterol goes down in the process!

i'm right there with you...

Kevin said...

This salad sounds tasty!

Mary Coleman said...

Cathy: He does.And it is so good.

Claudia: There's most definitely a whole lot more energy around here than before!

Kevin: It is as good as it looks and sounds.