I made a thing. I’m honestly not quite sure what to call it, but look below. Isn’t it pretty? Kind of? (If you’re not put off by lentils.) (I was until I was at least 28 years old.)
Inspired by the flavors of the summer (and by using up some of my pantry basics), I pulled from three different recipes to create this culinary mash-up.
First up, the lentils. Using a quick google search for both “lentils” and “eggs” (I had both in excess), I found a recipe that would add the protein to my vegetarian meal. I omitted the fish sauce in this recipe, and added fresh basil and lemon juice. One pet peeve in veggie meals is that I’m usually hungry afterwards; this double dose took care of that problem.
Served atop the bed of lentils was a chutney of tomatoes, basil and summer squash borrowed from this quick and easy recipe. (It’s so quick and easy, actually, that I’m not going to bother writing out the instructions. Olive oil, summer vegetables, herbs, salt and pepper co-mingle in a pan until deliciousness is born.)
The seared onion from this Bon Appétit recipe made for a chewy and difficult-to-eat garnish that made my house smell like the state fair (in a good way). While I’ll likely leave the onion out next time, the recipe did provide a sauce that tied the whole thing together. A simple combination of chopped scallions, olive oil and lemon juice transformed the dish from a hodgepodge of vegetarian dishes into an actual thing that I crave. (Let it be known that I crave goat cheese; I crave tater tots; I crave chorizo; I crave al pastor tacos; I crave ceviche. My hungry mind is occupied with fried food and animal fat, not a nearly-vegan dish filled with vegetables.)
In the tradition of summer and CSAs and backyard gardens and pantries with forgotten contents, my dish—this thing—is one that will be one of many one-time creations in my kitchen. But the scallion sauce paired with that poached egg? That will live on forever.
P.S. Anyone want to name this creation?
adapted from Bon Appétit, May 2011
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mince 1 whole scallion, transfer to a bowl, and whisk in 2 tablespoons oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set scallion sauce aside.
Poached Eggs & Lentils
from the Good Food Channel
1 stick celery
115 ml olive oil
250 g puy, castelluccio or similar small slate-green lentils, (see cook’s note below)
750 ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp fish sauce, (optional)
2 tsp red wine vinegar, (optional)
1 tsp Dijon mustard, (optional)
4 poached eggs, to serve
Finely chop the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan until hot, then add the vegetables, stirring to coat them in oil. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and the onion is transparent. Rinse the lentils under cold water and add them to the vegetables, stirring well to combine. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender but have not disintegrated. Cool slightly and add the flavorings of your choice. Serve the lentils with poached eggs.