Cold Lentil Salad

June 22, 2009

This is the perfect dish for a hot summer day.

Put 1 cup green or brown dried lentils in a pot with three cups water. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are done, about thirty minutes. (Note: if you do this with red lentils, they will disintegrate in ten minutes or less, at which point you’ll be well on your way to making daal. Stick to brown, green, or puy lentils if you want to make a salad.)

Dump the lentils into a colander and rinse them with cold water.

Chop up a bunch of vegetables. I try to stick with whatever is in season – sugar snap peas, cucumbers, scallions, and garlic scapes this time of year; tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and scallions in mid-summer; tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers and onions in late summer – but you can put in whatever you like.  I recommend buying whatever looks good at the farmers market (or harvesting whatever looks good in your garden), and then chopping up enough veggies to make your salad look colorful.

Put the lentils and vegetables in a big bowl or tupperware container, add plenty of vinegar. I like rice vinegar best for this dish, but red wine or cider vinegar would be just fine. I think lemon juice would be good too. I’d start with 1/3 cup vinegar, then add more vinegar to taste. I’d add a little salt at this stage, and you can add a couple tablespoons of olive oil, too, though I usually leave the oil out.

Stick the salad in the fridge to finish cooling and/or marinate – this is one of those dishes that tastes better the second day.


Asparagas is in Season!

May 24, 2009

Wash the asparagus and cut the bottom ends off. Heat some oil in a pan and throw on the asparagus. Add a splash of sherry and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until patches of the asparagus are lightly browned and you can stab it with a fork.

Farmers Market Inspiration

February 21, 2009


Photo credits: 1. Don’t even think about it! 2. apples 3. beets 4. yams

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14, 2009


1. purple radish sprouts 2. bundle of beets 3. single beet 4. hearts

Things I Love Thursday: (Nearly) Spring Edition

February 12, 2009


1. rosemary blossom 2. crocus 3. yellow tulips 4. sprouts

Pots of tulips and crocuses at the farmers market.

Apple pie a la mode.

Dollar books at the Strand.

Rounding the reservoir in Central Park.

Long-haired dachshounds.

Going outside without a coat.

Carrot salad. Sprouts.

Finding bulbs in the park.

Rosemary bushes at the farmers market.

Green Market Inspiration

February 7, 2009

I’m heading off to the farmers market in a few minutes after an inspiring glance through Ranjit’s greenmarket photos. I see carrots and other root vegetables in my very near future.

I’m going to make a habit of looking at Ranjit’s greenmarket photos from the year before, and I encourage you to do the same. Looking at what grew here this time last year is really useful because it builds seasonal literacy. More importantly, it inspires us to make the freezing invigorating trek to the farmers market.

Have a look, get inspired, and go directly to your nearest farmers market! I have a list of year-round farmers markets for New Yorkers, and I’m working on compiling a list for other places. If there’s a winter farmers market where you live, drop a note in comments and let us know where it is, when it’s open, and what you can find there.

Bon appetit, everyone! Don’t forget to bundle up!

Amazing Greenmarket Photography

February 5, 2009

You know how I wanted to make an illustrated list of everything you can buy at the farmers market each week?

Ranjit Bhatnagar has been taking photos of the Grand Army Plaza market in Brooklyn every week for nine years. They are amazingly beautiful. Go see them right now.

If you’re interested in eating locally in New York, browsing through these photos is a good way to develop a sense of what’s available throughout the year. I think I’m going to start making my grocery list while browsing the greenmarket photos. That way, I’ll build my meals around local ingredients  rather than trying to fit local produce into pre-arranged menus.