Monday, July 26, 2010

Grilled Peppers and Lentil Salad

I had never grilled peppers, let them steam, and then peeled off their skins. It was fun and the smell of the peppers while they cooked made me very excited about dinner. The original recipe called for fennel pollen, I ground some fennel seeds in my mortar and pestle. I liked the added flavor the fennel provided, especially since I served it with sausage. I almost used cumin. I think this would add a nice touch of smokiness and compliment the lime and cilantro in the salad. I’ll try that next time.

Sunday Menu – Grilled Peppers and Lentil Salad, Turkey Sausage, Whole Grain Bread
Farm Share Produce – Bell Pepper
Other Local Produce – Bell Pepper, Onion, Scallions

Grilled Peppers and Lentil Salad
Adapted from

3 bell peppers, a variety of color will add to the presentation
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups dried lentils
1 small onion, peeled and halved
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup chopped plum tomatoes
½ cup chopped scallions
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup lime juice
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 t ground fennel (or try cumin)

Preheat grill to high heat. Quarter and seed the peppers. Spray with cooking spray and put skin side down on the grill racks for 12 minutes. Place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. Next, discard skins and chop. Add peppers to a medium bowl and salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain lentils. In a large saucepan cover lentils with 3 inches of water. Add the onion and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are just tender. Drain lentils and discard onion and bay leaf.

To the medium bowl of peppers, add lentils, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, and ground fennel. Stir well and salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: the original recipe calls for ¼ cup of pitted kalamata olives. Thought you might like to know. Recently on FB I commented that I might like to get a cherry pitter, but didn’t want a uni-tasker. Several people pointed out I could pit olives, my best friend informed them I would actually have to like olives for that to be a selling point

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