Thursday, March 13, 2014

Trying something new for dinner


I must have been Italian in a former life. I follow several TV chefs, and am particularly fond of Lidia Bastianich, as I appreciate her sensible approach to cooking, using what is fresh and readily available seasonally and geographically, all with an eye towards kitchen frugality. Tonight's dinner entree is almost vegetarian, but certainly a low meat dish:  Lidia's Rustic Country Lentil Salad. I viewed her episode where she prepared this, later having a devil of a time finding the recipe on line, but was ultimately successful!

Rustic country lentil Salad
Lidia Batsianich

1 lb lentils, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
3 fresh Bay leaves (I used one large,dried one)
1/4 cup EVOO
6 oz Panchettta, sliced (I am using bacon)
1/3 cup white wine
3 T white wine vinegar
1 tsp Kosher salt
3 T fresh chopped parsley (using dried)

In a large Dutch oven, combine lentils, vegetables, Bay leaves and 2 quarts water.
Simmer 30-40 minutes until lentils are soft.
Drain, remove Bay leaves. Place lentils in a bowl, set aside.
In a skillet, heat 2 T EVOO and fry panchetta until crisp, approx. 4 minutes. (I just used reserved bacon fat, then afterwards, drained it all back into my bacon fat jar for the fridge)
Drain fat, add 2 T EVOO.
Add wine, vinegar and salt.
Bring to a boil, and pour dressing over lentils.
Toss with parsley and serve.

A large tossed salad, with choice of dressing will complete the meal.

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