They taste fine, but they look so unappetizing that I end up just not wanting to eat them. I only like the ones that look like this:
They are beautiful and pink and tasty.
I picked up a new cookbook for inspiration, "Plenty" by the owners of Ottolenghi, a deli in London. I found some inspiration and new taste combinations. I didn't have everything on hand for their lentil salad, but found a few good substitutes lurking in my kitchen.
We are big lentil lovers as of about 2 years ago. I usually prefer the Du Puy green lentils from France as they are quite flavorful. As I poked through the cabinets, I found 4 packages of different lentils with each containing about 2 tablespoons....no, I cannot throw them away. I mixed them up to equal a cup, hence the uneven colors and sizes. It still tasted great!
I love dressings that you incorporate the oil with freshly ground herbs or greens, they seem to meld all of the flavors together quicker than a vinaigrette and look so beautiful! It's also wonderful on a plain vegetable that might otherwise be a bit bland. Not to mention, a little goes a long way!
LENTIL, WATERCRESS & MANCHEGO SALAD
1 cup green lentils
a bundle of fresh herbs (I used sweet marjoram, thyme and fresh sage)
4 cups watercress, stalks removed
2/3 cup parsley
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt & pepper to taste
3 ounces Manchego cheese (I used a raw milk, 12 month aged)
walnut oil or other nut oil
1 fresh lemon wedge
Pick over lentils and rinse under cold water. Place in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, add herb bundle and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to a simmer and let cook 15-20 minutes until tender, but not mushy.
While the lentils are cooking, put half of the watercress, parsley, oil, garlic, salt, pepper and vinegar in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Pour dressing into a bowl.