Swiss Chard Salad with Sprouted Lentils and Egg Yolk Vinaigrette

This salad post has been a long time in the making. My first iteration of this salad was nearly two summers ago when I first started sprouting lentils. Now, two years later and with a bit of development, I give you one of my favorite summer (winter?) salads.

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For some reason, I took a break from sprouting for a while. I just was not in the mood. Perhaps that mood was replaced with fermentation for a while – I just made an insane batch of berbere sauerkraut that I barely shared with Eric, not to mention all the beer we’ve been churning out of this kitchen. But I recently saw a recipe for very simply cooked lentils with vinegar and was re-inspired to throw some wet lentils in a jar. And really, that’s all there is to sprouting lentils. Rinse them. Put them in a jar with a piece of cheese cloth secured on top, and let them sit. Rinse them every day and keep them moist. After a day, you should see a tiny sprout starting to emerge from the lentils, and after two or three days they should be in really good shape.

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Once you see the sprouting action happen, you can eat them right then and there, raw and all. You can cook them, also, if you desire. Once they’re sprouted to the point that you like, rinse them a final time and dry them completely. They’ll keep in a jar in the fridge for at least a week.

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I have also been putting fish sauce in a lot of my salad dressings lately. I have learned to not be afraid to use it even when my flavors aren’t veering toward the Asian continent. It really adds a nice depth that compliments so many flavors. It works nicely with the boiled egg yolks in this recipe to add a savoriness and richness to an otherwise simple salad.

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Swiss Chard Salad with Sprouted Lentils and Egg Yolk Vinaigrette

1 bunch swiss chard, green, red, rainbow, whatever
1/4 cup sprouted lentils
2 eggs, hard boiled
1/2 avocado (or a whole one!), thinly sliced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil – one for the dressing, one for the breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
salt and pepper

Remove the stems of the chard and finely slice it by rolling up the leaves and shredding it with a knife. Set aside in a bowl.

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Bring a pot of water to boil. Once boiling, carefully place the eggs in the water and set a timer for 11 minutes. When done, run the eggs under cold water. You may need to adjust the time based on your altitude, but I find 11 minutes to be a perfect hard boil in NY.

In a pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil and the breadcrumbs. Toast over high heat until the crumbs are browned and golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make the dressing, remove the yolks from the eggs and mash them in a small bowl. Roughly chop the egg whites and set aside. Add one tablespoon of olive oil along with the vinegar and fish sauce to the egg yolks. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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To assemble the salad, toss together the chard, lentils, avocado, egg whites, and bread crumbs. Drizzle on the dressing and serve immediately.

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Teff Porridge with Roasted Strawberries and Citrus

There is nothing like a little trip to get me inspired back in the kitchen. Eric and I managed to overlap work trips – Eric to Kenya for an Engineers Without Borders project and my own trip to Burundi. At the end, we snuck in two days in Copenhagen to relax, eat, and explore.

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We walked about 15 miles each day and ate so well – everything from smorrebrød to piles and piles of lumpfish roe. The Danes place an emphasis on quality and freshness, which is apparent everywhere you go. One of my favorite meals was lunch at GRØD, a tiny little spot devoted to porridge. My barley-otto with celery root and lovage was delightful so of course I had to buy the book.

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This recipe, though, is not from the book. It is the result of a welcome-home shopping trip to Mr. Piña that included super-on-sale strawberries and a bag of teff grains. Inspired by GRØD, this breakfast porridge hits all the right notes – wholesome and grainy, subtle hints of sweetness and acid, and a crisp textural crunch. Perfect for a weekend or those days you wake up at 5am from jet lag.

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Teff Porridge with Roasted Strawberries and Citrus

*You can use any citrus here, really. I had all kinds of yummy stuff on hand – pink lemon, blood orange, minneola tengelo, and cara cara orange. The same goes for nuts – I toasted a combination of pine nuts, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds.

1/2 cup teff grains
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chia seeds
1.5 cups water
1.5 cups milk of your choice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch of salt

2 pounds strawberries, trimmed and sliced
slices of whatever citrus you like
toasted nuts and seeds
toasted coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350. Arrange the strawberries on a baking pan. Cut the ends off the citrus fruits and squeeze the juices over the strawberries. Arrange very thin slices of citrus over the top. Bake for an hour.

In a pot, mix the teff, oats, and chia seeds with the milk and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes until it reaches the consistency that you want. I like it a bit runny still. Towards the end, add the maple syrup and salt and stir to combine.

In a dry pan, toast the nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes. They will all toast at different rates so best to do each type individually.

Top the porridge with the strawberries, nuts/seeds, and coconut flakes. You can cut the rinds of the citrus slices and add those as well.