Recipe: Warm Lentil Salad With Corn and a Twist of Green
Berkshire native Alana Chernila, local politician, mother of two, and author of the new cookbook, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making (Clarkson Potter), dispenses change and cooking ideas at the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market. She shares her peak-of-the-season recipes with Rural Intelligence to help us make the most of what’s growing in our region. Her first cookbook has achieved top-seller status, and Chernila has just announced that she has a new one in the works: Meals from the Homemade Pantry (Clarkson Potter), due out in 2014.
So let’s be clear here- I grew up with a lot of lentil soup. The recipe from the original Moosewood cookbook was a major staple in our little family. And I like lentil soup, I really do, but I’m not going to claim that there is much artistry in it. Argue with me if you like here, it’s just a good, basic soup. And this is all that I have ever used lentils for, until my friend Jen introduced me this recipe. And I was dubious here, I really was. But what I learned was this: Lentils and lemons are totally magical together. Magical. So if you are staring at your slightly bare pantry, and maybe your almost done garden and you are trying to figure out what astounding and easy thing to make for dinner, here you go. I’ve changed this quite a bit from the original recipe, and you can try your own variations on this one, too. Serve this up with any grain, even noodles if you like.
Warm Lentils and Corn with Lemon Vinaigrette
1 cup dried French lentils
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh greens (broccoli raab, arugula, Swiss chard, kale, spinach….) shredded
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered (or chopped tomatoes will do)
2 ribs celery diced
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Rinse the lentils and discard any stones.
Combine the lentils with two cups of water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 25-35 minutes until tender, adding more water if necessary. Add the corn during the last five minutes of cooking. Drain.
To prepare the vinaigrette, whisk the oil, lemon juice and salt together in a small saucepan over low heat until warm.
Spoon the lentils and corn into a serving bowl. Add the greens , tomatoes, celery and parsley.
Pour the warm dressing over the salad and toss. Serve immediately. —Alana Chernila