Friday, 19 April 2013

Ready for the Red?

Insalata di Lenticchie Rossi & Zucchine
Red Lentil & Zucchini Salad

Another simple dish prepared with red-lentils, which tasted excellent lukewarm this evening and would be equally delicious chilled in the warmer Summer months... and it is about time to get ourselves into that mindset I think... it has been a long time coming- but Springtime is finally in the air!

I was simply hungry after a long day of work and not sure what it was that I wanted to eat. I was not starving, as I had snacked in the afternoon, so I didn't want to have a full meal- at the same time, the thought of having a regular, leafy salad already boosted my hunger up a notch- as I knew I would not find that satisfying enough either to keep me happy for the rest of the evening... 

So I decided to improvise this little meal- light enough to not make me feel heavy and full, but substantial enough to keep the hunger-pangs at bay. I made it by briefly boiling the lentils, 2 cupfuls, in well salted water for 5 minutes, and whilst they bubbled away, I finely sliced some zucchini and Spring onions, ready to add as soon as I turned off the heat. 

After 5 minutes, the lentils were not quite ready, but I drained off most of the water, leaving them just nicely moist, and then added the onion and zucchini, stirred them in well, added salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar, the juice of a whole lime and a good splash of olive oil. I returned the saucepan to the warm stove top, put the lid back on, but did not continue boiling them- I just let them carry on cooking in their own residual heat. The onion and zucchini of course also softened just a little and also took on the flavors of the juice and and seasonings... and 5 minutes later, everything was nicely, gently cooked, with plenty of bite still... and ready to go!

The lentils tasted just fine- but I finished the salad off by adding plenty of fresh thyme to give it a nice, tangy, "zing!" of flavor, a last touch of sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper... tried a little taste and decided I had done a good thing... and if you try it, you will decide that you have too!

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