Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chop, Chop, Yum!!

There are two staple salads I make on the weekend, depending on the season and availability of ingredients.  They take a bit of chopping but are both very versatile and can either serve as a main dish or a side for parents and kids alike.

The First is Salade Confetti or Confetti Salad

I learned this Recipe from my friend and former boss Stephane, a Frenchman who loved his veggies... and his kids.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15-20 minutes
Yield: 4-6 sides, 2-4 mains

  • 1/4 Fennel Bulb
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • 1/2 Cucumber, seeded
  • 1/4 Crisp Pear, Bosque are best
  • 1/4 cup Gruyere cheese
  • 2 tbsp Basil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 tsp Pear vinaigre
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Shallot
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Cooking Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, add the vinaigre, shallot, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix until blended. Then slowly whisk in the olive oil to make the vinaigrette. Don't worry if it's perfectly thickened, it'll all taste good.

  2. Dice all if the other ingredients into 1/4" (or so ) pieces. Throw them in the bowl with the dressing. Toss and serve.

The Second is Salade aux Lentilles or Lentil Salad

  • 3 tsp Balsamic Vinaigre
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 pinch Sugar (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Fennel Bulb
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • 1 small Shallot
  • 1/4 Tart Apple
  • 1/2 lb. Cooked Lentils
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large bowl combine the vinaigre, mustard, salt & pepper and sugar (The sugar takes the tang out of the vinaigre. If you like the tang, omit the sugar) until well blended. Then, slowly whisk in the olive oil to make your vinaigrette.

  2. Chop the fennel, onion and apple into 1/4" pieces and dice the shallot. Add the veggies and the lentils to the bowl with the vinaigrette and combine.
Serving suggestions

    - Serve as a simple side to dinner. 
    - Top with chopped chicken or smoked trout with a poached egg
    - Add to a green salad 

About the lentils:

When I was living in France I was introduced to prepared foods that were sold in shrink wrapped packages.  You could find anything from potatoes (great for a quick gratin), beets, and lentils.  It was my professor with whom I cooked a lot who gave me this recipe for lentil salad.  The lentils are ready to eat straight out of the bag or can be added to a soup.  At first I was a little off-put that the beans on the outside of the package were dark green and those in the center were a liter color, but it's just a bit of oxidation.  I found these lentils at Trader Joe's.  If you can't find these prepared beans in your store, I'm sure canned beans would work well, or just go the old fashioned way of cooking them yourself.

1 comment:

Katherine Mortenson Weller said...

YUMM! I'm going to try this.