Alice Waters has had a major impact on our food culture – terms like locavore, sustainable, Slow Food are directly influenced by Alice Waters’ vision. Her quest for environmental harmony and delicious flavor have become the standards for many of us when we think about “GOOD FOOD”.
For 40 years, Chez Panisse has been a stalwart example of what a restaurant could be if we took care and conscience into the restaurant industry – The menu at Chez Panisse changes every night and is designed to be appropriate to the season while featuring the finest sustainably-sourced, organic, and seasonal ingredients including meat, fish, and poultry.
This week for #HGEATS is a Healthy Start to 2012 and since we are focusing on lifestyle changes (NOT diets), Alice Waters and her food is a fabulous place to start if you have not encountered her or a fabulous place to revisit if you have.
We chose to highlight the Lentil Salad Recipe from Alice Waters as part of our Chef Stalking this week for a few reasons – healthy is about lifestyle not dieting, healthy can be marvelous (this recipe is!) and lentils are a great good luck food for the New Year.
- Add 1/2 cup diced cucumber.
- Dice very fine 1/4 cup each of carrot, celery, and onion. Cook until tender in a couple spoonfuls of olive oil. Cool and stir into the salad in place of the scallions or shallots.
- Garnish with 1/2 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese.
- Toast and crush 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and add to the salad. Substitute cilantro for the parsley.
- Dice 1/4 cup flavorful sweet peppers, season with salt, and let stand to soften. Stir in with the scallions or shallots.
- 1 cup lentils (French green lentils or black Beluga lentils are the best varieties to use for lentil salads because they have lots of flavor and they hold their shape when cooked.)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Fresh-ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions or
- 3 tablespoons finely diced shallot
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Sort and rinse the lentils. Cover with water by 3 inches and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until tender all the way through (adding more water if necessary), about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
- Toss the lentils with the red wine vinegar, salt, and fresh-ground black pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and vinegar if needed.
- Add the extra-virgin olive oil, scallions or shallot, and parsley. Stir to combine. If the lentils seem dry and are hard to stir, loosen them with a bit of the reserved cooking liquid.