Tag Archives: lentils

Lentils, Mushrooms, and Zucchini Blossoms

Happy French Friday!  We are going to do some catching up today.  I mentioned last week that I had a couple of French Fridays with Dorie recipes to catch you up on.  Plus I also have this week’s recipe to tell you about.  I had hoped to get to the catch-up recipes earlier in the week, but that obviously didn’t happen…  Let’s get to it!

French Lentils: A Basic Recipe

The title of this recipes says it all.  It is a basic recipe for French lentils (lentilles du Puy) that can be used as a side dish or the base for a salad.  I served mine as a side dish with grilled chicken stuffed with sage and mozzarella.  I topped them with Honey-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes from the book River Cottage Veg.

French Lentils

The combination of all these flavors was excellent!  I enjoyed this dinner very much.  While I liked the lentils, my husband merely tolerated them, so I will likely not make this recipe again, unless I find the perfect dish that needs lentils on the side.

Chanterelles with Napa and Nuts

Next up is a recipe the group made a few weeks ago called Chanterelles with Napa and Nuts.  I wasn’t able to find chanterelle mushrooms (though the guy in the produce department said they had them just the week before), so I used a gourmet mushroom mix instead.

Gourmet Mushroom Mix

This dish was a quick saute of mushrooms and Napa cabbage, garnished with parsley and chopped nuts.  It would be excellent as a side dish to all sorts of meats, especially grilled steak.

Mushrooms with Napa and Nuts

My husband was out of town the week I made this dish, so I served mine with a simple hamburger patty cooked on the stove.  I really, really loved the mushrooms!  The title of this recipe didn’t appeal to me, but you must look past that and make this if you like mushrooms.  A winner!

Shrimp-Filled Zucchini Blossoms

I finally got a few zucchini blossoms from my garden!!!  I harvested 3 of them and made myself these blossoms for lunch one day.

Shrimp-Filled Zucchini Blossoms

I tend to shy away from deep-frying things.  It seems hard, and wasteful, and stressful.  It really isn’t hard.  The hardest part (for me) seems to be getting the oil to just the right temperature.

In this recipe, we simply stuffed the zucchini blossoms with large shrimp, dipped them in a tempura batter, and deep-fried them until done.  I wish the recipe had specified what temperature the oil should be, because I think I had it too hot.  My blossoms cooked faster than the recipe suggested they should.

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

These were fun to make!  I have never cooked with zucchini blossoms before, but I should since I have them in my garden.  And the deep-frying would be easier with practice.  Maybe next year I will try the goat cheese-tapenade variation!

Whew, I’m caught up (on the writing, at least)!  If you are interested in trying any of these recipes, be sure to check out Dorie Greenspan’s book, Around My French Table. On a related note, I finally pre-ordered Dorie’s new book, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere.  Now I will be ready to go when the group starts the new book!

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Orange-Scented Lentil Soup

Daylight Savings Time.  We all know we set our clocks ahead one hour this past weekend.  It has been a rough transition for my family.  I have been having trouble falling asleep, my daughter has been having trouble staying asleep, and we all have yet to wake up on time this week.

Orange-Scented Lentil Soup

One major positive to switching to Daylight Savings Time is I now have natural light at dinner time.  Which means I have natural light for taking pictures of my dinner!  I felt so uninspired during the long, dark winter that I hardly felt like taking any photos for French Fridays with Dorie, and would even postpone making something because of not wanting to take the pictures.  Now I can find my inspiration again!

For this week’s recipe I did indeed take advantage of that natural light.  We made Orange-Scented Lentil Soup.  It is a basic lentil soup flavored with a strip of orange peel, peppercorns, coriander seeds, a clove, and fresh ginger.  After the lentils are tender, everything (including the orange peel!) is pureed.  Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt.

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This was OK, but we didn’t love it.  The orange peel gave the soup a slightly bitter  taste.  It’s possible the piece I used was bigger than what the recipe recommended, but next time I would remove the peel before pureeing the soup.  I liked the ginger and other seasonings.  The yogurt provided a nice contrast to the flavors.

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Lentil, Lemon, and Tuna Salad + Olive Oil Ice Cream

I seem to be on a every-other-week schedule lately.  I read somewhere a while back (I think it was on Simple Mom) about the “seasons” that occur when running a home-based business, especially if you have kids.  Some seasons you have a lot of time to devote to your business and other seasons you don’t.  Accepting the reality of the seasons and even preparing for them can help ease the pain of not having the time you wish you had.  The seasons can apply to a personal blog too, and I seem to be in an “off-season” right now.  And I’m OK with it.

I cooked two French Fridays with Dorie recipes this week (poor planning and a trip out of town caused last week’s to go unmade):  Lentil, Lemon, and Tuna Salad and Olive Oil Ice Cream.

The Lentil, Lemon, and Tuna Salad was unlike anything I had made before.  Lentils du Puy (French green lentils) are cooked and then combined with a mustard-olive tapenade vinaigrette, a preserved lemon, green onions, and canned tuna.  After a rest in the refrigerator to blend the flavors, the salad is served.  I served mine on a bed of mixed greens with sliced tomatoes adorning the sides.

I really liked this salad.  I loved the piquant flavors of the dressing mixed with the lentils and tuna.  Leftovers for lunch were quite tasty.  My husband was more neutral about this one.  While he didn’t mind it, he won’t be requesting it for future meals.

Quite intriguing was the Olive Oil Ice Cream.  It is a basic custard-based vanilla ice cream, except some of the cream is replaced with olive oil.  Dorie suggests tasting the olive oil before using it to make sure it doesn’t have a peppery finish.  I’m so glad she suggested this, because the oil I had planned on using did have a peppery finish.  I served this over two nights, two different ways.  I wanted to us to experience the ice cream fully.

The first night I served the ice cream plain, with just a drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkling of grey sea salt.  I asked my husband to guess the flavor.  He couldn’t guess, but you can clearly taste the olive oil when you know it’s there.  The flavor was interesting (in a good way!) but we decided we would rather have plain vanilla or another flavor all-together for eating it plain.

The next night I served the ice cream drizzled in chocolate sauce and topped with a sprinkling of grey sea salt.  The flavors were fantastic together!  Dorie wasn’t kidding when she said the ice cream is “spectacularly good” with chocolate.  We both thoroughly enjoyed it and my husband was hoping for more the next night.

My conclusion with the ice cream is that I will make it again if I am serving it with something that it will go well with, but for “just eating”, I will stick to other flavors.  It was very fun to try!

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Roasted Salmon and Lentils

Are you looking for a delicious, satisfying, and healthy meal?  Look no further than “Roasted Salmon and Lentils”!  It’s this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe.

This recipe is a lesson in cooking lentils du Puy, or French green lentils.  They are simmered to perfection with onion, a clove, carrot, celery, bay leaf, and chicken broth.  A few of the lentils are removed and pureed, then the veggies are chopped and mixed back in.  The result is very flavorful!

The salmon is simply roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.

I loved this meal, and so did my daughter.  She has always liked salmon, but she really liked the lentils too.  She even had seconds!  My husband liked the salmon and “tolerated” the lentils.

You can find the recipe for “Roasted Salmon and Lentils” in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.  If you don’t have this wonderful book you really should get it!

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