Succulent grilled organic chicken with lemon over black lentil feta salad with greens is one way La Diva enjoys tasty lentils!
Darlings, I just LOVE lentils! I love them first and foremost because they are delicious, but also because they so versatile, come in so many different colours and sizes but mostly because they are so quick cooking! Within 15 minutes, one can have a savory and filling dinner, even a vegetarian dinner, using lentils!
These small black lentils are tiny...about the size of a fat sesame seed, so that means they cook super quickly! And to tell the truth, you WON'T find these at the regular super market but DO try to find them, as they are a great pantry staple.
This is Bertolli extra virgin olive oil. I am plugging it in this post. La Diva RARELY plugs products. And for this reason, I am not given loads of free foodie stuff. I feel my blog is about my self expression and MY company, not an advertisement for other company's products because they give me samples. (yeah, I've got integrity like that) HOWEVER....I REALLY DO USE BERTOLLI and have used it in my kitchen for years.
So, when the publicist for Bertolli invited me to the Fabulous FABIO VIVIANI'S cooking demonstration back in February, I was happy and thrilled to attend. (A post on the charming Fabio and his lively cooking demo will be coming up NEXT POST, promise!) Apparently, Viviani is a spokesperson for the brand, so hey, two Eyetalians can't be wrong, right?
Along with the demo, I got product info and several bottles of their oils and balsamic vinegar. And because, again, I REALLY DO LIKE BERTOLLI, I am going to show you a few ways to use it!
You should be able to discern the lovely flavors of the olive oil and salt in the lentils. Season to taste and allow to cool completely.
You now have a KICK ASS base for a few light meals.
Now, I'm going to combine these simple ingredients to create a favorite salad of mine. I like to use good quality feta cheese that is in a brine and is imported; I like it's creamy texture and salty taste. A lot of "pre-crumbled" feta is too dry and flavorless...avoid it at all costs! I also like using organic spinach as it holds up well in the dish after a day or two. Just these three ingredients make for a tasty, versatile salad.
Chiffonade the spinach and crumble the cheese into the lentils, mix well.
Add more salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil if needed. EAT!
This salad, as is, is perfect for picnics and setting out at a buffet as it tastes great at room temperature, is satisfying and holds up very well being out of the refrigerator as the spinach does not easily wilt.
OR....you can add the lentil salad to greens and tomatoes!
OR...add it to warm rice and use as a base for a hearty vegetarian lunch of sliced, marinated heirloom tomatoes with sweet spring onions!
Bertolli olive oil (the regular stuff is for cooking, the extra virgin stuff is for AFTER cooking, to add FLAVOR!) grill it til the chicken is just done, allow it to rest until slightly cooler, and then sliced it up. Spread the chicken over the lentils and additional greens, douse with fresh lemon juice and freshly cracked pepper, sea salt and lemon zest! Light, satisfying and delicious. And perfect for warmer weather meals.
See what a few little black lentils can do for your pantry? (and Bertolli olive oil, natch!) How do YOU like to cook lentils, darling? Do you even cook lentils? Why or why not? DO TELL La Diva all about it.