It was a really hot day, and as we have no air conditioning we always need to plan ahead. For instance, we keep an eye on the thermometer and close the windows when the outside temperature rises above the inside temp, and we limit cooking and baking. This morning I made Papa’s favorite lentil salad and it was cold for dinner.
(Adapted from the New York Times Cookbook, by James Beard, which is still packed in the garage. Lonnie, if you are reading this, will you please come and finish our house???)
2 cups dried lentils (about a pound)
6 – 8 cups water
5 or 6 whole cloves
1 small onion
A few bay leaves
5 TBS olive oil, or some canola oil in the mix if you don’t have enough (that’s what I did today)
3 TBS vinegar of your choice
2 – 3 TBS red wine (which I put in today before I realized it wasn’t the red wine vinegar, and it tasted great)
Salt and Pepper
Anything else that strikes your fancy, such as olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, fresh peppers, etc.
1. Sort and rinse lentils. Place in large pot with the bay leaves, the water, and the cloves stuck into the peeled whole onion. If that sounds like too much work, put the cloves in a tea ball and leave the onion alone.
2. Bring to a boil and allow to cook just below the simmer until lentils are soft but not mushy, about 35 minutes.
3. Drain the lentils and discard the bay leaves, onion and cloves. Return lentils to pot.
4. Add the oil, then the vinegar, and then a little salt and pepper. Cover the pot and allow to cool a bit, then refrigerate until closer to serving time.
5. When ready to serve, mix in the scallion and anything else you’d like in the salad.
6. Eat a lot of it.