I had a lot of ideas I wanted to share. In fact, thinking about it now as I write, I should have known that I was feeling ambitious.
That something would come in the way of my plan.
I wanted to tell you about Spring, and how excited I am that it is here, and that on the very first day of Spring, we visited the farm again. Not only because Lulu has been insistently asking to see les moutons et les poules first thing in the morning every day, but also because it was 70 F outside–oh yes it was!–and while Lulu loves the farm because it’s like a enormous playground with funny-aha creatures inside it, I find it healing to see the animals, smell the ground and touch the grass, and have my boots covered with mud.
Then, I wanted to show you the parsley root parsley fritters I cooked.
The pear and chocolate tart I prepared last Thursday when Lulu was in daycare.
And even the strawberry cake I baked–and before you tell me that it’s not yet the season, I know. But the reality is that I’ve been using and eating a lot of strawberries lately and yes, they even tasted good. And even better, they made me feel cheerful.
Well. I cooked a ton within the last week. That’s also therapeutic.
And I think we were just ready and prepared to see winter go and welcome budding flowers and trees dressing up in green again instead.
It’s cyclical. Seasons are beautiful this way.
Friday was gorgeous, and Lulu and her friend R. played like best friends, running after each other, giggling together and hugging–it was so cute to watch.
Saturday was almost as nice but perhaps a tad cooler.
Then Sunday….is when things started to turn sour. It was cold again.
We went out for a walk in the morning but came the afternoon and Lulu and I started to feel sick. With a cough first. Then a light fever. And while I felt better on Monday, my poor little one was actually sick. And it was snowing again.
So in the place of all these nice things I had planned to write about, I made a green lentil salad, and thought that at least I could tell you and write about that. I had just received a package with beautifully knitted dresses for Lulu from my mother–Have I told you already what a wonderful knitter she is? Merci maman !–and with it came the last issue of Elle a table magazine. A treat.
That’s where I found inspiration to make the salad. I am writing about my version of the recipe.
It felt good to eat warm green lentils with refreshing ingredients like finely shaved fennel, delicate quail eggs and crunchy pieces of apple and green asparagus. It was like having a slice of Spring in my plate.
I ate two servings. Yes. Just by myself while Lulu was napping upstairs. And then I finished with strawberries coated with sugar and yogurt on the side.
I was quite happy.
Even happier an hour later when I found a smile back on Lulu’s face who was finally hungry for lunch again.
I felt appreciative of what I had.
For 4 servings
For the dressing:
- Sea salt
- 2 teaspoons honey-flavored mustard
- 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (about 2 small lemons)
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pistachio oil
For the salad:
- 1 cup French green lentils
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 twigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Sea salt
- 1 small fennel bulb, cored and finely sliced with a mandoline
- 12 quail eggs
- 1 apple, cored and finely diced
- 12 three-inch green asparagus spears
- Handful of watercress
- Fresh coriander, chopped finely
- Red peppercorn, crushed
- To prepare the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, add the ingredients in this order: salt, mustard, lemon juice and shallot. Stir and add the oils. Emulsify with a small fork; set aside.
- Place the green lentils in a large pot. Add 2 cups chicken stock and 1/2 cup water. Add a few twigs of thyme and a bay leaf. Season with salt and cook the lentils on low heat, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until they are tender. Remove the excess water.
- In the meantime, bring a large volume of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and blanch the asparagus for 1 minute. Rinse them under cold water. Slice each spear in 3 pieces.
- Divide the lentils between plates or serving glasses; set aside.
- Boil the quail eggs for 3 minutes and place in cold water. Remove the shell delicately and half each egg; set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the shaved fennel, the apple, watercress and asparagus. Dress with the vinaigrette.
- Top the lentils with this salad mixture and add the eggs. Sprinkle with red peppercorn and coriander, and then serve.
Pour 4 personnes
Pour la vinaigrette :
- Sel de mer
- 2 càc de moutarde au miel
- 2 càs de jus de citron
- 1 petite échalote, hachée finement
- 3 càs d’huile d’olive
- 2 càs d’huile de pistache
Pour la salade :
- 1 tasse de lentilles vertes
- 500 ml de bouillon de volaille
- 125 ml d’eau
- 2 brins de thym
- 1 feuille de laurier
- Sel de mer
- 1 petite bulbe de fenouil, coupée finement avec une mandoline
- 12 oeufs de caille
- 1 pomme, évidée et coupée finement
- 12 pointes d’asperges de 8 cm
- Une grosse poignée de cresson
- Coriande fraichement hachée
- Baies roses concassées
- Pour préparer la vinaigrette, dans un petit bol, ajoutez les ingrédients dans cet ordre: sel, moutarde, jus de citron et échalote. Mélangez et ajoutez les huiles. Emulsionnez avec un petit fouet.
- Placez les lentilles dans une grande casserole. Couvrez avec le bouillon et l’eau. AJoutez le thm et la feuille de laurier. Salez et couvrez. Faites mijoter pendant 45 minutes à 1 heure, jusqu’à ce que les lentilles soient tendres. Egouttez et réservez.
- Pendant ce temps, faites blanchir les asperges dans un grand volume d’eau bouillante salée. Rinsez-les sous de l’eau froide et coupez chaque pointe en 3.
- Mettez les lentilles dans quatre assiettes ou verres.
- Faites cuire les oeufs pendant 3 minutes, puis écaillez-les.
- Dans un grand saladier, mélangez le fenouil, la pomme, le cresson et les asperges. Ajoutez la vinaigrette et mélangez.
- Disposez cette salade sur les lentilles et ajoutez les oeufs. Assaisonnez de baies roses et de coriandre. Servez aussitôt.