A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cooking All Day

I feel like I've been cooking all the livelong day (you know that song: I've been working on the railroad, all the livelong day. It was in the Golden Book of Songs we all knew when we were young. I'm pretty sure everyone from the Midwest and North could join in the chorus on that particular song. Is it still in the conciousness of your generation?)

I made a lentil salad and an almond tart for lunch with Grandma and John and Kathy. Then I went home and made an enormous French chocolate tart and a rum cake for my student recital tomorrow.

We were lucky enough to have leftover meatloaf from Grandma's lunch, so we didn't have to cook dinner, except for a big batch of beets from the garden. The variety Dad plants is Red Ace.

Have I ever made this salad for you? Just open up your spice cupboard and put in some of everything.

Curried Lentil Salad

1 lb dried lentils

Cook until barely tender, not mushy! This depends a lot on whether you use green or red lentils. Drain.

½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup wine or balsamic vinegar, or a combination
1 tablespoon sweetener (sugar, honey, etc.)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon mace
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Whisk together the above dressing ingredients. Combine gently with the lentils and marinate all day, or overnight.

1 or 2 hours before serving time, add:

½ cup dried currants
1/3 cup capers
¾ cup finely chopped red onion
Optional: 1 or 2 cups cooked quinoa (this makes the salad milder and lighter, if desired)

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