Thursday, January 17, 2008

You Must Eat This

I make a version of this salad every winter, a couple of times or more. For the first several years, I used celery root to top the beluga lentils. Celery root is velvety and divine, but it's a bitch to peel.
This year I happened upon the lucky merger of celery and fennel bulb, because that was what was on hand. (Not that I've never combined celery with fennel; it was just a new twist on an old lentil recipe). Along with some thinly sliced mild onion, it makes a stellar wintry raw melange, airy and light and tart atop the gently cooked beans.
A simple, very simple dressing of first-rate olive oil, vinegar (I used homemade apple-pear vinegar), salt and pepper ties the two layers together.
Come on. I think you can do this without a recipe.


Stacie said...

yum! this time of year I crave the lentils... what was that british tv show about the rock band that lived in a house, and the hippy guy named Nigel always made lentils? Lentils Rock!

michelle said...

Yum! And beautiful too! I like the thought of it atop lentils and not just by itself too!

dancingmorganmouse said...

I can see no reason to limit this to winter and shall see if I have time to pop over to the market at lunchtime.

Sam said...

Well maybe - if I hadn't ruined a whole celeriac by making it into a disgusting soup last night. I love celeriac but my healthy soup sucks worse than baby food. Next time post these better ideas a day earlier please ;)

Sam said...

ps - for a great lentil recipe (and I mean delicious) check out this . I have been eating it all week - so good. Mine isn't soup though - most of my liquid evaporated and that's fine by me. It's nice with a little st benoit yogurt on top.

Barbara said...

Belated Happy New Year greetings Cookiecrumb. Sorry to read about e weather destroying your vegetable crop.

peter said...

What do you use to peel celery root? I use a cheap Japanese peeler (transverse, where the blade is perpendicular to the handle) and it takes about 20 secs.

Anonymous said...


Lentils are a food group in my house, frankly. We have at least one meal of them a week. But surely putting my fennel/pear salad atop my lentils just-never-occurred-to-me, so thanks!

(And don't fret the fact that you need to dispatch something like a third of the danged celeriac in its peeling. I just figure it's the price you pay: growing them's even worse b/c the tops are also mostly useless, and must begone)

kudzu said...

Hurrah for lentils with their slightly meaty feel and good flavor. And isn't it nice at this time of year to add something with crunch and green feeling? We need those other-season touches while we wait for spring.

Patricia Scarpin said...

That sounds and looks like a great idea. :)

cookiecrumb said...

Lentils rock, yes. And they cook so fast. Cranky just bought a sack of French green lentils yesterday; the belugas are running low.

Michelle: It's like fashion. Layer, layer, layer! And don't forget to accessorize. ;-)

Ms. Mouse: I hope you do. I hope you did!

Sam: Pureed celery root is a little yuck, say I. Sorry about your soup.
However, your ultra comfort food recipe for lentils and pasta with spinach and yogurt? Rmmmmm!! It's on my list.

Barbara: Same to you, darling. (My winter crop is doing fine without me, it seems. The knocked-over stems just reasserted roots elsewhere, and continue to thrive!)

Peter: I don't have one of those peelers, but I suspect the difference between you and me is my skinny, unmuscled arms.

FGTW: Hi, El. Pile on! And be generous with your (oily) dressing because the beans love it. Good.

Kudzu: There really is a lot of nice green stuff out there. We still have runty leeks, and the celery that just won't quit. I had to buy the fennel (and the onion, though that won't be true much longer!). To spring! (Hell, it's almost here.)

Patricia: Oh thanks. And did I say it's easy? You'll like it.

tammy said...

Damn straight. That sounds awesome.

Don't give up on celery root soup, though. Mmmm.

peter said...

How did you know? It's the steroids.

Catherine said...

Stacie - that was The Young Ones.

Cookiecrumb - this looks amazing, but as someone who really doesn't appreciate celery (it's OK raw with a high-fat dip or peanut butter), how does the root taste. Perhaps its just fresh and crisp?

Anyway, this is a lovely lookin' lentil dish - bravo!

cookiecrumb said...

Tammy: I'll take your word for it, and your recipe if you have one. :)

Peter: Oh, no. The clear? See, I'm just using flaxseed oil, and getting nowhere.

Catherine: Celery root is fresh and crisp (uncooked), but it does have a celery flavor. Perhaps you could just do with the fennel and onion, maybe add pears or apples?

Lore said...

Such healthy bites, just knowing that makes them even more yummy. Thanks!