three salad dinner

merry christmas eve! i'm currently up in northumberland with phil's family for christmas and will have very limited internet/iphone access, so i may be signing off for a couple of days. i'll be back with a quick post when we return on sunday - but then it's off to america for two weeks, so who knows when i'll get the chance to write out there? it's a big mystery... in the meantime, take a look at our dinner from tuesday night. it's a big ol' plate filled with three different salads. two come from leiths, one is a stripped down version of our classic particular nicoise (you may notice a boiled egg in the photo below - that's phil's plate).

as for the other two, i think the winner was the warm lentil salad. just don't grill your goat's cheese unless you know it won't melt through the bars!

warm lentil salad

recipe from leiths (you can kinda see it in the background, behind all the green beans and cherry tomatoes)

the particulars:

  • 1/2 cup puy lentils
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, bruised
  • 1/2 pint veg stock
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 4 small individual goat's cheeses (aka crottin)
  • 2 handfuls walnuts, chopped
  • 1 handful sage leaves, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. put the lentils in a small saucepan with the thyme, bay leaves, and garlic. cover with stock and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
  2. in another saucepan, heat the oil, add the red onion and sweat until soft, then add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and allow the onions to caramelise.
  3. preheat the grill. cut the crottin in half and grill, cut side up, until the tops are brown and bubbling.
  4. drain the lentils, add the walnuts, chopped sage, red onion mixture, and olive oil. mix together well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. divide the lentils between 4 individual plates and place 2 goat's cheese halves on top.

lesson learned: YUM. this is a whole meal in itself. the only mistake was with the goat's cheese portions. but other than that, it's a winner.

merry christmas everyone!