Lentil Pepper Salad
Nothing like a gimpy finger to slow down your cooking momentum… a few days ago I inflicted some mayhem on myself with a mandoline while making beet chips (which were delicious and I’ll post the recipe soon…errr… minus large finger chunk and my poor freaked out neighbors… lol).
Anyways, typing is interesting ….
On to the salad! This is just delicious. I’m rather proud of myself. After splurging on seasonal berries and beginning the yearly freezing/canning/jamming/pesto binge that is now in swing, plus hosting way too many dinner parties, has left my grocery budget a weeeee bit on the tight side. I looked at my cupboards and thought… ok people, cheap dinner. How can I get economical here? Enter pulses and legumes. I’m going to have as my goal for the next month only to buy fruit and veg and nothing else for groceries, and see how far my cupboard stock can stretch.
On to the salad! You’re gonna looooooove it :)
Lentil Pepper Salad
Recipe note: You can serve this salad two ways. If you prefer raw pepper to give it crunch, assemble the ingredients and stop there. If not, add in the pepper and onion, a tablespoon of olive oil, and cook the lentils further until the pepper is softened. Serve it over basmati rice- perfect.
NOTE ABOUT LENTILS: if you are cooking your lentils, the size changes the cooking time! Boil for 1o min and check on them – some cook faster than others (augh! so sorry Christine!).
- 1 cup finely chopped pancetta or bacon (or turkey bacon, etc… Anything thats smokey, salty and a bit fatty. sulfite and nitrate-free: find home made bacon, its lowest in the bad stuff, check out the Piggy Market )
- 1 cup green lentils uncooked (not red! they go to mush) (Anti Candida: reduce lentils by half)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 2 yellow peppers, diced
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar or 1/2 to 3/4 cup strong red wine (Anti Candida: replace with 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup chicken broth)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Add the lentils to 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil on medium for at least 20 min (sometimes it takes up to 30 min, depending on the size of your lentils- puy lentils are smaller and cook faster). (Check on them at the 10 and 15 minute mark in case they cook quickly- cooking time varies depending on the size and freshness of the lentils).
- Cook the pancetta/bacon in a deep skillet until crispy.
- Add in the rosemary and thyme to the skillet, toss till softened, and deglaze with the wine vinegar or wine or lemon juice and stock.
- Strain the lentils and rinse them. They should be mostly cooked- not chewy, or hard in the middle, or super squishy but still firm. Add them to the deglazed skillet.
- Simmer the lentils and pancetta and herbs together for about 10 min. Add in the salt, and you may need to add a bit of water or additional liquid so that the mix doesn’t dry while simmering.
- Toss in the pepper and green onion. You can either serve this way, or continue cooking with additional olive oil to soften the pepper (Anti Candida: leave the pepper as raw as possible to prevent caramelization or natural sugars from developing).
- Serve tossed with cooked basmati rice (Anti Candida: Serve with brown rice or basmati, or even quinoa). Voila!