A Lovely Fall Lentil Salad

DSC_8823

My friends, welcome to fall! This may be my favorite season – that crispness in the air, a slight bite to the wind, but the most dreamy color schemes a lady could ask for all around. It’s also time for a welcome return to roasted veggies and heartier meals. Huzzah!

This particular dish was photographed my Mr. Adam Reitano. He’s wonderful and incredibly talented, and you should definitely check out his website to see some of his other work.

Now, onto the food. There are two things that I love about lentils: 1) they’re tasty; and 2) they’re cheap. I’ll add a number 3: 3) they’re easy to make. If you haven’t spent time with my dear friends the de Puys or the browns, then please, please, go to your local market and meet them. You’ll like them.

This particular lentil salad is really a mish-mosh of whatever veggies you have on hand. The combination of some cooked veggies with some raw gives the dish some nice variety and texture. That said, you have sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes? Awesome! You have parsnips? Cool! You really don’t like radishes? Fine! Well, promise me you’ll at least try them sauteed before you axe them completely – they’re realllllly nice that way. You want to add green beans or broccoli? Do it! A handful of greens would also be sooooo good here. Same goes for spices, folks. Mix it up, be creative. This is a hard thing to totally mess up because there’s really no “right” way to do it.

What you need:

DSC_81812 cups rinsed and drained lentils (I like de Puys, but any type could be good here)

1 small onion, chopped and sauteed

6 cloves garlic, chopped and sauteed

2 russet potatoes, diced and roasted

1-2 cups white mushroomes, sliced and sauteed

1 head of cauliflower, chopped and either roasted or left raw (if I roast cauliflower, I eat it all in about 5 minutes, so it’s left raw in this recipe)

I bunch radishes, cleaned, sliced, and sauteed

1 tomato, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 yellow pepper, chopped

Handful cilantro, chopped

2 heaping Tbsp whole grain mustard

Olive oil, enough for lots of sauteeing and roasting and about an 2-3 Tbs for dressing

Champagne vinegar, about 1/8 cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Whew, that’s a lot of ingredients. Stay with me, this is easier than it seems.

What to do:

First, preheateth thine oven. To 375.

Second, begin boiling 5 cups of water on the stove. Once the boiling has occurred, put your rinsed and drained lentils into the pot, keep at a rollingboil for about 30 seconds, then reduce to a low boil, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes-ish. Keep checking back on these guys. If there seems to be too much water, take the lid off and let some evaporate off. The real thing to avoid here is mushy lentils.

This is how many people like a mushy lentil salad: 0. Ew. So, watch your lentils like little lentil-loving hawks!

DSC_8319

While your lentils cook, dice your potatoes, coat in about 1-2Tbsp olive oil and some salt and pepper, then spread out on a baking sheet. Place them in the oven when ready and roast for about 15-20 minutes, flip them, and roast another 5-10 minutes.

While these guys are roasting, begin the sautee.DSC_8265

Chop your onion, garlic, and sautee in olive oil (or veggie broth if you’d rather) until tender and golden brown, then add your mushrooms and radishes.DSC_8661

Once everything is tender and luscious looking in your sautee pan, remove from heat. Check your potatoes and your lentils. Once ready, remove both from heat as well. Chop the rest of your raw ingredients.DSC_8783

Mix it all in a bowl!DSC_8790

Add olive oil, vinegar, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, and eat! Serves about 4 as a main meal, or 6 as side dishes. Enjoy and happy fall, bloggernet!DSC_8809

Advertisements

Romesco Sauce, White Beans, Roasted Veggies for the Virtual Vegan Potluck!

vvpLOGO

Hooray for another Virtual Vegan Potluck! It was such a blast participating in potluck last spring that I couldn’t pass up a chance to do it all again. So many incredible vegan recipes out there brought to you by some equally awesome bloggers and I’m proud to be a part of it!IMG_9171

For my entry, I present to you delicious, spicy Romesco sauce. It’s good with roasted veg, pasta, rice, crepes, pretty much most things. It’s also relatively easy to whip up is great at a party, not only for its mad skillz as a dip, but it’s a pretty great dancer too.

IMG_9191What you need for Romesco:

2 slices of gluten-free bread, pan-toasted in a little olive oil

2 large slicing tomatoes, cut in half and roasted

2 red bell peppers, cut in half and roasted

5-6 cloves of garlic, cut in half and roasted

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup pecans

1 handful italian parsely, chopped

3 Tbsp sherry vinegar

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp (or more, in my case more like 1 full tsp) red pepper flakes

Pinch of chili pepper

salt and pepper to tasteIMG_9154IMG_9158Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While heating, slice your tomatoes, peppers, and peel garlic cloves. Lay all on large baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, until soft, but not mushy.IMG_9156While roasting, toast thy bread to a lovely golden brown! Just make sure it’s in a non-stick skillet and with about 2 Tbsp olive oil. I used Essential Baking whole seed bread, but any non-glutinous (and non-sweet) bread will work. Focaccia would be primo!IMG_9157Gather the rest of your beautiful ingredients, such as lovely pecans. You could also use almonds or cashews here, but there’s something about the earthiness of pecans that I think really works.IMG_9168Put everything in a high speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. If you need more moisture, add 1 tbsp of water as needed, but it should be good, thick sauce. It’ll keep about a week in the fridge if you decide to make it beforehand.

Now, for the veg part! I apologize, because these photos were taken at night, which is always kind of a shame. What can you do? Seasons will be seasons after all.IMG_9152IMG_9160What you need:

1-2 shallots

1 bunch kale, chopped

1 handful white mushrooms, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

1/2 cauliflower head, chopped

1-2 potatoes, chopped

2 beets, chopped

1 head romanesco broccoli

2-3 tsp olive oil

3 cups cooked white beans (I used some baby lima lovelies) or 2 cans, drained and rinsed

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 10.32.08 PMWhat to do:

First, soak your beans for at least 6 hours, then cook until tender. The water in the pot with the beans should be about 3 inches above the beans, and cooking will take about 45 minutes. If using cans, just drain and rinse.

While the oven is still nice and hot, toss your chopped potato, cauli, beets, and romanesco with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread evenly on a large cookie sheet.

Place the shallots, zucchini, and mushrooms in a non-stick skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute until brown and tender, then add kale with a handful of water. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove lid of skillet and cook to desired level of tenderness.IMG_9196Once roasted veggies are done, toss with sauteed goodies then pour on your lovely romesco sauce. If you made it ahead of time just be sure to reheat it before putting it all together.IMG_9185 IMG_9172

Enjoy the rest of the potluck and happy cooking!!!!!

go_bck            go_forward