Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cold ass NY

It's been fricking cold out in NY. Like makes your eyes water cold. This is the best kind of weather for roasting vegetables in a cast iron skillet, warming up your long skinny apartment with oniony odors. Yum.
Saturday night's dinner was nothing new, except I had to vegetarianize my favorite lentil salad. As I stole off Mark Bittman's blog, there's nothing like a good bacon and lentil salad, with dijon mustard and not much else. However, Mr. LC doesn't like bacon or other dead animals in his food. He's missing out, I know. I don't like paying for or eating meat analogs (although I plan to do vegetarian biscuits and gravy soon, whenever I can get my hands on some Gimme Lean veggie sausage, as my buttermilk is chillaxing in my fridge), so I try to get my savory other ways.
Enter the humble baby bella mushroom. Satuee these suckers up with some onion and butter, and you'll be rolling in the animal-free umami (the meaty, savory taste that we enjoy in meats, cheese, coffee, etc.). Also, cheese helps as well.

Vegetarianized Bittman's lentil salad
1 1/2- 2 c. of dry lentils
handful of parsley, chopped
juice of half a lemon
cayenne (optional)
3 oz. of feta cheese, crumbled
dijon mustard
1/2 onion
8-9 baby bella mushrooms

1. Boil and cook the lentils. If you start now, they'll be done once you finish prepping the rest of the salad.
2. Dice the onion and cook in butter (about 1 Tbs) over medium heat. Clean and chop the mushrooms, in the mean time. As the onion starts to become soft, add the 'shrooms. Mix occassionally. Cook for a while, maybe 7 minutes, until they get really soft. Turn off the heat.
3. Season the onion and mushroom mixture with salt and pepper. Add parsley.
4. When the lentils are done (they can be a bit al dente, or softer based on your preferences), drain and rinse (like pasta). Add to the mushroom mixture. Stir it all up. Crumble feta on top, add lemon juice, and mix in dijon to taste. Season with more salt and pepper if you'd like.

I served this with roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts. We were in cold weather food heaven.

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