For Thursday night dinner, Kim made Rachel Khoo’s Puy Lentil Salad With Goats’ Cheese, Beetroot, and Dill Vinaigrette which paired in a charming way with Wines by the Flask‘s suggestion of 2013 Louis Metaireau Muscadet. Kim tells how it went.
I started first by working on the beets, which I planned to roast. The minimum order on Fresh Direct was two beets, so even though the recipe only called for one, I decided to make both. The beets were on the smaller side and it ended up being the perfect amount. I started by preheating the oven to 400 degrees, lining two sheet pans with foil and laying down some parchment paper on my cutting board. The last step was so that as I peeled and sliced the beets, I didn’t stain my wood cutting board. After the beets were peeled and sliced (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices), I tossed them on the sheet pans with some sunflower oil (since I would be using this in the dill vinaigrette later) and a little salt. Into the oven they went to roast for about 35 minutes.
I then turned my attention to the lentils. I filled up the tea kettle with water and got that going to boil. I then rinsed and put the lentils into a pot with the bay leaf, thyme and salt. I then covered them with the boiling water (at least double in volume as the directions stated), covered with a lid and let them simmer as I worked on the dill vinaigrette. I also got out the goat cheese so that it could come up to a nice temperature and not be so cold next to the warm lentils and beets.
The directions suggested making the dill vinaigrette in a blender. In our tiny New York City kitchen, the blender is up high and I didn’t feel like getting the step-ladder, so I opted to use the food processor since that is much more accessible due to its relatively frequent use. I put about half of my bunch of dill in the food processor and then added the sunflower oil, salt and sugar and pulse it until it became a nice thick, dressing consistency. I tasted and adjusted the salt ever-so-slightly and tasted again. Delicious. As a I looked at the other half of the dill and realized I was unsure what to do with rest of it and thought, why not make double the dressing? I thought it might make for an interesting accompaniment to bagels, smoked salmon and cream cheese over the weekend. But more on this later in the post script.
As cleaned up from the making of the dill vinaigrette, I checked on the lentils, which need just an additional few minutes of cooking time. I then drained them and had them ready to go for when the beets came out of the oven and it was time to start assembling the salad.
The beets were nicely roasted and it was time to start plating. I first laid down some baby romaine, then added a nice serving of lentils, arranged beet slices on top and the dotted the plate with the goat cheese and dill vinaigrette. I finished the plate with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of fleur de sel and quick grind of pepper. Dinner was served.
The lentils, with their slightly earthy bite paired nicely with the also earthy but slight sweet beets, the dill vinaigrette added a wonderful herby brightness and the goat cheese added creaminess and a tangy note. The 2013 Louis Metaireau Muscadet paired in a delightful way with all the many flavors.
P.S. We tried the dill vinaigrette on Saturday morning with bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon–it was terrific! We liked it so much we had it again on Sunday. I’m trying freezing the rest of the dill vinaigrette for perhaps a piece of roasted salmon. More on that soon!