Friday, September 25, 2009

Lentil Soup with Walnut Gremolata and a Simple Salad

Thursday night was another collaborative effort. I began cooking, then went out to shuttle D back and forth to her dance class, and returned to help complete the meal.

Thursday dinner:
A salad of lettuce and thinly sliced red onion, lightly dressed with lemon juice, McEvoy Ranch olive oil, salt and pepper. And a bit of pecorino.

A version of the Mediterranean Five Lentil Soup with Walnut Gremolata from The Artful Vegan, which is the second book to come from the Most Excellent crew at the Millenium Restaurant in San Francisco. We only had 3 kinds of lentils, but all the makings of this dish (except the ginger) were already in my pantry/refrigerator/freezer. While many of the recipes in both Millenium-generated cookbooks are very time-consuming, because of the multiple components involved in getting the layered, textured results that are a Millenium signature, the soup recipes generally are not. We were pleased to discover this one a couple of years ago, and have made it on many weekdays since. A bit of miso is whisked in at the end, which lends the broth a certain round sophistication. But it turns out the ginger is pretty crucial because without it, the mild sweetness of the light miso goes unchecked. I compensated with generous amounts of ground black pepper. Although the soup can stand on its own, the herby, citrusy swath of goodness we call gremolata is not to be missed.

Other observations:
Drawback of collaborative dinner-making: No one "owns" the dishwashing and cleanup, and no one wants to do it.

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