Ooey Gooey Caramel Chocolate Marshmallow Triple Cream Ricotta & Marcarpone Cheesecake in a Brioche Puff Pastry Baklava Crust with a Double Layer ... ♥

Warm Lentil Salad with Spinach & Goat Cheese ... of Lemon Curd and Topped with Candied Raspberries and Toffee-Tossed Pecans and a Venetian Honey Hazelnut Butter Sauce! (Who knew that Blogger has a limit on title length?!! And thanks to my sister for the 'recipe'!)

And Happy April Fools!

And Happy Second Birthday, A Veggie Venture! On this oh-so-unlikely occasion, will you forgive a trip down memory lane?
To all those who read and inspire what's found in these pixels and who encourage and befriend me, I thank you, I thank you truly. Do I mean you? Yes, YOU, I thank YOU.

And to those who know me in real life and know that I have a habit, ahem, of skipping birthdays, note the number of candles. I may be in this for the long haul, I'd best start skipping now.

Oh, right, the recipe! You arrived expecting a recipe so a recipe you shall get, a good one, too. It's another classic-Alanna recipe, one that's easily adaptable based on what's on hand and what's in season and what you like. The essentials are simply the lentils (preferably 'meaty' lentils such as French green lentils aka lentilles du Puy or a standby in my kitchen, the black lentils from Trader Joe's) and the vinegar-brightened vegetables. Even the goat cheese -- as lovely as it is -- is optional if you're counting calories. It all made a lovely bed for roast chicken.

And it's also a signal that in Year Three, I intend to explore 'plants' along with vegetables. Michael Pollan's opening to his January piece in the New York Times really struck me then and still sticks in my brain, now. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." So look for more posts with grains and legumes and seeds, also whole grain and nut flours, occasional fruits especially in savory offerings, all 'plants' of course, but a stretch or two from vegetables.

Any requests? This is largely unexplored territory for me, I'd love your suggestions and pointers. But never fear, this obsession with new ways to cook vegetables, mostly simply, shows no sign of waning.

NEXT TIME I'll slice the spinach into smaller bits before turning into the warm lentils. And I won't feel disappointed when the goat cheese melts into the warm lentils -- versus the big chunks in the magazine photo, &^%$ stylists, some times! -- because it still tastes great.



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WARM LENTIL SALAD with SPINACH & GOAT CHEESE

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Makes 3 cups

3 cups salted water
3/4 cup meaty lentils such as green lentils, French lentils or black lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, minced small (or shallot)
1 carrot, quartered lengthwise and then cut crosswise 1/4 inch thick
[celery, red pepper, other vegetables, diced]
2 tablespoons good vinegar (balsamic, malt, sherry, etc.)
6 ounces spinach, tough stems removed, cut into narrow strips
4 ounces goat cheese, broken into pieces
Salt & pepper to taste

LENTILS
Bring water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook til done, about 30 minutes. (These took longer than I expected, keep tasting to know when done.) Drain.

SAUTÉ VEGETABLES
Heat olive oil til shimmery in a skillet on MEDIUM. Add the onion and other vegetables as they're prepped, stirring to coat with fat. Let cook, stirring occasionally, til crisp-tender. (You want some crunch.) Stir in the vinegar.

COMBINE
Combine hot lentils, vegetables, spinach and goat cheese until spinach 'cooks' from heat of lentils. Season to taste. Serve at once.



A Veggie Venture is home of the Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and vegetable inspiration from Asparagus to Zucchini. © Copyright 2007

16 comments:

Alanna, happy blogiversary, and happy April Fool's Day! Your blog sets the very high standard to which the rest of us aspire. Thanks for continuing to raise that bar.

A very happy second blog birthday to you. Fun remembering some of the milestones. I'm impressed you persevered through 89 days with no comments! When I first started, the wonderful Rand would be the only one commenting, day after day.

Really looking forward to recipes for legumes and whole grains. This salad sounds fabulous.

HAppy Blogbirthday Alanna, please continue to inspire me like you do and I will alwys feel happy and content! I'm looking forward to your new direction!

Happy Blogiversary! I've been a big fan of your blog ever since I discovered it. I wish I had found it earlier because I'd love to have had the honor of being one of your first comments. I'm so happy you stuck it out past April Fool's Day, past a month, and past a year!

Haha! Alanna, when I saw that title in my reader I thought "OK now that is a recipe worth trying!" Happy Blog Anniversary my dearest and sweetest Alanna! Look forward to joining you for many more.

Happy blogversary, and congratulations! (PS. Thanks for the comment encouragement. I've gotten a couple, and readership is growing, but sometimes my little internet corner of the universe feels a little lonely, making me feel silly putting stuff out there. If it weren't for a couple of friends who called or emailed to tell me that they made stuff and it worked, I wouldn't still write.)
This is me officially delurking. Thanks for perservering.

Alanna, that is such a great post! Everytime I'm checking a site today I try to remind my self what day it is but you got me. I'm thinking: That doesn't look like chocolate. Excellent!!
Happy Blog Birthday!
Great recipe! I love lentils. I too look forward to the new direction but still with veggies.

Happy Birthday, Veggie Venture! You are a wonderful inspiration for good eatin'! You certainly inspired me to start exploring all possible ways to cook veggies Indian-style. Would love to see recipes with whole grains, beans and nuts!

Congratulations on another year Alanna! Here's to many more!

For someone who eats mostly fruits and vegetables, your blog has helped alot! Thanks for all the recipes

Happy Birthday!Here's to another year of your exceptional company...

Cheers!

Happy 2nd Blog Birthday Alanna! May there be many more veggie ventures to come.

Happy Blog Birthday!

That salad looks and sounds wonderful! I can't wait to see what you have in store for us with grains and plants!
But is there such a cake? ;-)

That's great, I never realized you had started on April 1st! Keep on blogging!

i made this last night - it was DELICIOUS! (my lentils actually only needed to simmer for 20 minutes). next time i'll put more carrots and celery in for more of a crunch...thanks so much, glad i found this site

I've made this lentil salad recipe several times and loved it. However,I misplaced the recipe and went crazy looking for it in the house and online. Today I began my search anew and found your website, like magic, there it was. Thanks so much.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna