Orange Lentils, Salmon and Cucumber Salad

(serve in Boston bibb lettuce cups)

Orange* lentils added to a sweated base of small-dice carrots, celery, onions, garlic in olive oil – (optionally joined by a wondra- or seasoned-AP flour coated pork or lamb neck browned in light oil and butter – stew, reserving the meat for another purpose, but the braising liquid to finish the meat useful for the stewing of the lentils vice a chicken stock or plain water).

First: make simple brown rice for the first meal to serve with your lentils.  Green or Brown Lentils perfectly acceptable, but the color orange lentils add to the salad is worth the expense and the effort (finding).  A blend of several lentils a nice idea, ktoo.

For the second meal – THE SALAD –  mix rice and lelgumes with seeded and diced cucumbers (unskinned if home-grown or you know how to take the wax off), more small-dice sweatted green onions, blanched carrots, celery, blanched fennel, minced parsley, dill and a few fennel fronds, and either freshly poached or best-quality canned wild pink salmon (keep the bones and crush if you must – I like the crunch when using canned salmon).  Add diced oil-cruel pitted black olives and diced seeded grape and/or cherry tomatoes.

An extra virgin olive oil, dijon and spicy brown mustard, tangerine jusce and red wine/sherry vinegar-based dressing with minced shallot is my dressing of choice.  I also garnish the bed of a large rectangular casserole for service with rings of thin-sliced shallot and radishes.


*as to the pork neck (or lamb) added to the first cooking, it is not necessary, but I like to dual-purpose my lentils and other legumes for a hearty meat-n-rice soupishness first time and then either spaghetti sauce or salad mix-mashups a second and possibly third time around.  I use liberal amounts of Kosher salt for the cooled salad version and gluttonly grind black pepper and add often my own dried crushed red pappers to both the soup/stew and to the salads.  Celery seeds? Absolutely.  Toasted cumin seeds: como no?; fennel…go graze-crazy.   A great way to give languished veg a last life before going under the enamel.



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