My repertoire of salad recipes, those I mix together often, totals three: Tossed, Caprese and Marshall Field’s Wedge. I’m not particularly proud of this and don’t usually admit to it. So glad I’m among friends.
This year I’d already decided to turn over a new lettuce leaf (Just had to do that.)and make this my Summer of Salads. Each week I am going to create a delicious and nutritious melange, using ingredients outside my comfort zone. By the end of August I will have added fourteen salads to my repertoire of three bringing me to a more respectable seventeen. Blast Off!!!
That’s why I was especially pleased to kick off my Salad Summer with this week’s FFWD choice, Lentil, Lemon, and Tuna Salad. To be honest, I made two salads this week because I also made Dorie’s Tomato and Pepper Salad. Little credit, please. She suggested we use this as a garnish for flavor and color. A good idea.
The salad gives birth as lentils du Puy (from the Auvergne region of France) which I found at my local Whole Foods. After putting the lentils in a strainer and rinsing them under cold water, I brought them to a boil and let simmer for forty minutes. The lentils cooked quite happily in a chicken broth filled with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, clove and bay leaf. At the last moment, I even sweetened the pot with a tablespoon of Cognac. After draining the liquid and removing the softened vegetables (my choice), I added a minced shallot and salt/pepper.
It was simple to add a tasty dressing of mustard, tapenade, red wine vinegar and Lemon Blush olive oil to the warm lentils. Instead of using a preserved lemon (which I didn’t have), I substituted lemon zest, capers and scallions. Once everything was blended, I used a fork to flake drained tuna over the salad. Salt. Pepper. Toss. Done.
While the salad was chilling, I put together halved grape tomatoes, diced raw red pepper as well as roasted red pepper with some olive oil and a dash of cumin. I think it was a colorful garnish, perfect for the rather dowdy-looking lentils. What this dish lacks in color, it makes up in flavor. It is delicious and can be served on a bed of greens or plain, chilled or at room temperature. LLT can be a starter course, a luncheon dish or spread over crackers for nibbles with cocktails. Versatile. Delicious.
If this Lentil, Lemon and Tuna Salad appeals to you, go here. The Tomato and Pepper Salad, a colorful garnish or accompaniment, is great to have in your arsenal for its many uses. To see what others mixed together this week, stop by our FFWD Site.