Here it is, the first Wednesday of the month . . . long-time blog followers know that it is the day when I get together with a number of bloggers from across the blogosphere for the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. Giz selected this month's theme - clean eating. Normally this has great significance for me in January . . . after the holidays a huge detox is generally needed! This year things are different - I have been in Italy since December 13th so there has been no gorging on shortbread, gravy, fruitcake and similar calorie laden Christmas treats.
Italy is the home of the Mediterrean Diet and it doens't get much cleaner than that.
My original recipe was supposed to be pulled together prior to leaving for the trip but work and life took over and it didn't happen. This meant that I had to cook something while I was here - thank goodness for a well-equipped kitchen in this apartment rental. I decided to cook something with lentils for New Year's dinner.
Why lentils? Lentils are a traditional New Years food here in Italy. The star of the New Year's dinner is lentils, symbolizing money and good fortune for the coming year.
I found this simple recipe on the Cooking Light website and set off the other day to get the ingredients.
The apartment is about a minute walk from Piazza Del Fico where I spied a neighbourhood fruit and vegetable stand. This is where I bought my red onion and fresh herbs.
On the 1st, after Paolo and I spent New Year's Day wandering Trastevere and the Ghetto, I made the salad before heading for a nap. We all loved it - a great addition to any menu - don't save this one for 1 day a year . . . luck or not!
Lentil Salad with Fresh Herbs
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Place lentils in a large saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above lentils; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until tender. Drain well.
Place lentils in a large bowl. Stir in onion and next 4 ingredients (through pepper). Add vinegar and oil; toss well. Serve at room temperature