While traveling recently, I found myself having the nicest summer supper on a screened in porch in the beautiful little village of Mariemont, Ohio. The meal was unfussy and the company was relaxed. My friends, Mike and Shelley, know good food. They mostly make it themselves from scratch and seek out the best fresh local ingredients they can find.
On this night, Mike made French green lentils from a Julia Child recipe he’d been wanting to try. With his vegan friend visiting, he thought it was the perfect time. I agreed. He’d also picked up some newly harvested potatoes from the farmer’s market and threw together a french style potato salad. To round everything out, Shelley sliced some gorgeous local tomatoes and we had a feast.
Once I got home, I really wanted to put something like this together. Instead of serving everything separately, I decided to combine all of the ingredients into one dish (easier to bring to a yoga potluck, of course). I started with some multi-colored potatoes and boiled them with the skins until they were tender. At the same time, I cooked the lentils with some onion, garlic, carrot and celery based on a recipe from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone (she’s kind of like my Julia Child).
I combined the warm cooked potatoes with the cooked lentils and added a simple vinaigrette recipe and some fresh tomatoes and tarragon. The result is oh so good. It’s a hearty salad, but still summery. I like it at room temperature best, but it could be served warmed or chilled.
French Green Lentil Potato Salad
1/2lb small new potatoes, rinsed
1 1/2 cup french green lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
1/4 cup apple cider or white wine vinegar
1/4 olive or grapeseed oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped
1 medium tomatoes, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Place potatoes in large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes. Strain and place in a large bowl.
Combine lentils, onion, garlic, carrot and celerty in a large pot. Add 6 cups of water, 1 tsp salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender but still a little firm (they should not be mushy), about 25 minutes. Strain and add to potatoes.
While lentils and potatoes are cooking, combine vinegar, oil, dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
Add vinaigrette, chopped tomatoes and tarragon to warm potatoes and lentils. Toss gently to coat. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow vinaigrette to seep into vegetables. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.