Friday, February 19, 2010

Warm Lentil Salad with Beets

We recently moved to Ohio. We are still in a bit of a culture shock but we are ready to embrace our new home and enjoy what is seasonal and local and explore the Ohio food scene. Most of the boxes are unpacked and put away, the kitchen ones, anyway. So I am ready to get the home fires burning again!

I did not move much from the old house pantry. It seemed silly to pay the freight on things I could get elsewhere. I also had a fear of things freezing and bursting en route so I only packed one small box of staples. My friends in CA were happy to rummage through the boxes of what I was leaving behind. (Why did I have three jars of capers?) Two items I brought that peeked my interest when I peered into my naked pantry were farro and organic green lentils. The lentils won when I did a little research and found Bobby Flay's Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Beets & Goat Cheese. I had some mixed baby greens and baby arugula for the salad. I roasted some large red beets and crumbled the goat cheese over the top instead of the recomended slices. Each component stood on its own. The lentils cooked with bacon (I left out the carrots) were earthy with hints of bay and thyme. The field greens with the sherry vinaigrette repeated the thyme flavor but had a nice tangy contrast to the homey lentils. The roasted beets added a sweetness and a great firm texture, and are always great paired with goat cheese. Each little bite was its own taste adventure - "ahh! Here's a beet and goat cheese bite! Here's a lentil and arugula bite! Here's a bite with everything!" Would I make it again? You bet! It got thumbs up from every one at the table.