Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Moroccan Lentil Salad

Sorry I haven't been posting much.  I've been cooking plenty, but most of the time the meals are tasty but not extraordinary, and therefore I haven't felt like you'd be interested in them.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I felt like if I wasn't all that into them, you wouldn't be either.

With that said, I've had a mini-creative streak and have whipped up some serious deliciousness lately.  I'll try to post more often, and if you see something you like, please comment on it (everyone needs a little positive feedback now and again).  I've started to learn that this "being a blogger" thing is a bit of a mind-fuck.  I create these little tidbits about me and my food, send it off to cyberspace, and am left wondering if it ever reaches or inspires anyone.  Its a lot like talking to yourself.... you wonder if someone might be just around the corner listening, unbeknown to you.... or if you're just plain ol' crazy.

Ok, blathering on about myself... on to the cooking!


Always in search of a vegetarian meal that Boyfriend will enjoy, I decided to make a lentil salad using stuff I know he likes - grapes (check!), feta (check!), pistachios (check!), and arugula (check!).

The result: I loved it (had it again for lunch today actually).  Boyfriend thought the ratio of lentil:arugula was a little heavy on the arugula side, but he liked the spice it provided.  Boyfriend also decided to throw in a small (and predictable) comment, "You know what would make this better?... MEAT!"

Gotta love the guy.

Ingredients:
1/2 lb dry lentils
2 leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced and washed
2 tbsp sherry
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 1/2 C red grapes, halved
1/4 C chopped roasted pistachios
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 dried fig, diced into small pieces
1/4 C mint, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 oz reduced-fat feta, crumbled
3 C reduced sodium chicken stock (or use vegetable broth for totally vegetarian)
1 tsp olive oil

1) Cook the lentils in the chicken stock until tender (~15-20min). 
2) Drain lentils, keeping any remaining cooking liquid. 
3) Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, add the leeks and brown for about 5min.  Add the leftover lentil-cooking liquid (no more than a 1/2 C) to the leeks and allow them to braise until soft, approximately 10min.
4) When the leeks are tender, remove from heat and stir in the sherry and mustard.
5) Combine the lentils, leek mixture, grapes, fig, pistachios, sesame seeds, mint, and parsley in a large bowl.
6) Season with salt and pepper if needed.  Top with crumbled feta.

I served this warm on a bed of arugula.  Boyfriend and I opened a Malbec and enjoyed our light dinner in front of the TV.  He watched the Celtics destroy the Sixers, I graded papers.  So romantic, right? 

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