Trying out new foods is all par for the course in this job.
Which is great. Because it means that I don’t get stuck in a food rut very often. And it also means that I get to experience different flavor combinations that I might not have otherwise thought to try.
There is, however, one downside to this job perk. And that is that I sometimes “forget” about certain food items. Pantry staples, which tend to take a back seat to whatever is currently in season or “popular” at the moment, often get overlooked in my kitchen.
Take lentils, for example. Oh how I love these little edible pulses. Yet, there are only two recipes on this whole blog which list them as an ingredient (if you’re curious, it’s these tacos and this soup). So I thought it was about high time that I fixed that problem.
Also, a bag of black lentils fell out of my cabinet while I was rummaging around and hit me square on the head. It was a nice little reminder to use these beauties in a recipe.
This Lentil and Mustard-Roasted Potato Salad with Beets is simple, nourishing and feels just like the kind of meal that is going to help me navigate through what remains of these cold winter days. It’s flavor packed. Crisp and bright. And the leftovers might even be better than they are on day one.
I found that I didn’t need any additional dressing on this salad. The whole grain mustard that clings to the roasted potatoes is enough for me. But a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice would certainly be welcome here. Also, you’ll notice that I’ve kept the beets raw in this recipe. If you haven’t tried raw beets, I urge you to give it a go. Their flavor is mild and they have a spectacular little crunch. But if you’re unsure, you could certainly roast or boil them before slicing.
This is the only way I can accurately describe how cold it was here on Sunday. Are you ready. OK. Here it is.
Yeah. It was that bad. We had sub-zero temperatures for a good portion of the day and a nice little breeze to really seal the deal. Fun times.
So needless to say, I stayed inside most of the day. You know, because frostbite wasn’t on my “to-do” list for this weekend.
But homemade pizza was definitely (and is indefinitely!) on my to-do list.
A basic margarita pizza will probably forever be my favorite. But it’s fun to play with different flavor combinations every once in a while. I had some za’atar, which is a blend of herbs and spices frequently used in Middle Eastern cooking, that I need to use up. And that became the jumping off point that inspired this Middle Eastern Pizza with Red Onion, Fennel, Lemon, Ricotta and Kale. I love how all these unique pizza toppings come together to create something really fresh and flavorful. And it’s nice to take a little break from the more traditional tomato sauce base, too.
The crust recipe is one that I’ve used before, and it makes an appearance in my grilled lobster pizza. It’s a 5-minute, no-knead pizza crust recipe that results in something that isn’t quite a flatbread style, but also isn’t as chewy and “doughy” as a traditional pizza crust. It’s somewhere in the middle. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, you can substitute it for your favorite pizza dough recipe.