I took a mini vacation this week since last week was a big work week for me. I made some time to do some non-cooking with friends things like spring shopping, home organizing and registering the kids for various camps. Basically, life outside of CWF!
So when Suzy asked me what I wanted to do this week, I said I was up for anything. But since we both needed to make dinner and dreaded the chore, we ended up cooking together anyway. We decided to start with Lions Head Meatballs since my older son had been asking for them ever since we made them together a few weeks ago.
While I was busy chopping the scallions, leeks and jalapeno peppers, Suzy concentrated on mincing ginger. As we worked, we divvied up the ingredients between two bowls. And then once my chopping was done, I started making a quick potato leek soup and warm lentil salad for lunch using up some scraps of veggies from the week. Suzy meanwhile had her fists deep into the raw chicken mixture molding meatballs. But when she was done, she moved right onto roasting some cauliflower and chick peas. We were busy working parallel to one another but enjoying our time talking and catching up on each other’s lives. And you know what the best part was? When our hour and half was over, we shared all the food we made together and then later that night created delicious meals for our families.
Sometimes the best dishes are created without a lot of thought, using leftovers and without a recipe. This lentil salad is the perfect example of what can magically happen with some scrap mushrooms, shallots and onions and a little support from a friend. With a quick sauté of diced onions, shallots and mushrooms in olive oil, the whisking of lemon juice, olive oil and a tiny bit of garlic and a handful of shredded parmesan cheese, Suzy and I created a delicate yet meaty vegetarian dish that we’ll definitely make again — only next time on purpose.
Warm Lentil and Mushroom Salad
3 cups cooked French lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced baby Portobello mushrooms
3 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced and seeds removed
Juice from ½ lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon of salt (or more)
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Warm the cooked lentils and place in a bowl. Set aside. In a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms, garlic, onions, shallots and jalapenos until the mushrooms start to wilt. This will take about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice, salt and additional olive oil.
Stir the warm mushroom mixture and dressing into the lentils and mix together. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and gently mix together. Serve warm with Suzy’s curried cauliflower and chick peas.