Abigail Cahill O'Brien

CSA Week 2 Recipes: Lentil-Radish Salad in Thyme Vinaigrette

In Food on July 1, 2010 at 10:06 am

Here we are at the end of Week 2.  For anyone interested in joining, Farmer Dave’s still has a few shares available for pick up throughout the Boston area (go here for pickup locations).

I wasted less food this week, which is always the goal.  A few leafs of green were lost to yellowing (which has me thinking I ought to replace my Debbie Meyer green bags – they’re well beyond the recommended 10 uses) but nothing as heartbreaking as last week’s sodden English peas.

Earlier in the week I shared my recipe for scallops, zucchini and peas in lemon-bacon broth. I also made the famous garlic scape and white bean dip, and yes, it’s as good (and simple) as everyone says. My Hurukei turnips went into a romaine and green apple salad, and I threw the cilantro into guacamole.   This steak marinade won high marks – though in the spirit of full disclosure i omitted the garlic salt and parsley flakes, and substituted Worcestershire for fish sauce.  There’s a big hole in my pantry where fish sauce ought to be.

My favorite, besides the scallops?  This lovely lentil salad.  Start with French lentils if you can find them; they hold their shape well and won’t turn o mush when cooked.   The cooking liquid looked so rich and green that I reserved it in a mug.  A little salt and pepper, et voilà! A thyme-lentil broth on which to sip while cooking.

Lentil & Radish Salad in Thyme Vinaigrette

Chop 3 shallots and cook in olive oil in a medium pot until soft. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and 2 tbsp fresh thyme; add to shallots and stir until garlic softens.  Add 6 cups water, 3 bay leaves and 2 1/4 cups French lentils.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a fast simmer for 20-25 minutes, until water is almost gone.  Drain lentils and remove bay leaves.  Let lentils cool.  Stir in one cup diced cucumbers and one bunch of radishes, also diced.  Dress with thyme vinaigrette:  1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, salt and pepper.  Top with goat cheese.  Lentils double in volume when cooked, so this will make about 6-8 cups depending on how many vegetables you add.

Poached Egg on Basil Pesto Greens: Just what it sounds like! Cook greens in a tsp of olive oil until they wilt. I had no idea what my greens were, until Food and Fiction identified them as Yukina Savoy (thanks, Jane).  Stir in 1-2 tbsp basil pesto.  Top with a poached egg and grated Parmesan.

There’s nothing quite like an arugula and steak salad.  I sliced in some radishes and cucumbers, and dressed it with a mustard-caper vinaigrette (olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard and capers).

Simple salads get me through the week’s lunches.  This chilled beauty, featuring grapefruit, celery and Parmesan, used fruit that might have otherwise languished on my counter.  Get the recipe here (I added wafer-thin red onion slices), and go here for useful pictorial directions on how to segment citrus fruit.

To finish it off, leftover steak topped an onion-celery-bok choy stirfry, flavored with fresh ginger, cilantro, soy sauce and lime juice.

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