As always when doing a review I set out to try one of the recipes from the book. I picked Lentil and Tuna Salad. It looked so pretty in the book, I simply couldn’t wait to try it. A heads up though, with many of the recipes you need to prepare a little in advance. Some of the ingredients are not those that I stock regularly in my pantry. I took a trip to Sunset Foods, which carries many more gourmet and international ingredients, and was able to get the French Lentils, and most of the other ingredients for the recipe. I wasn’t able to get Italian tuna with olive oil, so I got the best tuna with olive oil I could find. And yes, French lentils are different than regular lentils, and did make a difference in the quality of the salad. Susie gives clear instructions for each of her recipes, so even if some of the ingredients are foreign (it is an international cookbook after all – there are going to be some unique ingredients in the book!), you can still prepare the recipes like a pro. As you can see from my photo the result was pretty close to Susie’s (yay us!). We felt very rustic eating the salad Motzei Shabbat, as if we were in a little town in Tuscany.
The salad was pretty quick to prepare and was unique and delicious! If your family would prefer another protein other than tuna in the salad, you could even substitute chicken, or chorizo and it would be delicious (if not authentic).
Simply click on the link below to enter. It’s that simple. Awesome right?
- 1 carrot, peeled
- 1 rib celery
- 1/2 white onion, peeled
- 1 1/2 cups French Puy lentils or lenticchie di Castelluccio
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 (200-gram) can tuna, preferably Rio Mare or other Italian tuna packed in olive oil; don’t drain
- leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar sprigs of fresh thyme
- Maldon or other flaky salt
- Fill a medium pot halfway with cold water.
- Add carrot, celery, onion, lentils, peppercorns, and red wine vinegar.
- Bring to a boil.
- Place the tomatoes into a strainer to drain; discard liquid.
- Set aside.
- Check the lentils after about 20 minutes, although they may need closer to 30 minutes.
- Not all lentils cook in the same amount of time, so you will need to taste one.
- They should be slightly al dente, not mushy and falling apart but not hard.
- When the lentils are almost done, add 1 teaspoon coarse salt.
- Drain the lentils, rinsing in cold water to stop the cooking.
- Pick out and discard the carrot, celery, and onion.
- Place lentils into a large bowl.
- Add drained tomatoes and tuna with its oil.
- Add the thyme, cayenne, olive oil, and vinegar.
- Season to taste with more coarse salt, at least ½ teaspoon.
- Drizzle with additional olive oil; garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and a small pinch of Maldon salt.
- Serving Size: 6