The idea for this dinner started with Bittman’s post about Lentil Salad. It sounded new and exciting, so I thought, “Sure, why not? I’ll make it!” Unfortunately, when I went to market, I had a brain fart and forgot what green lentils looked like. What threw me off even further was that the split peas were labeled “red lentils.” I thought maybe it was just a mislabeled green lentil container and bought it to cook for dinner.
Despite the mix-up, I still cooked the split peas as lentils and they came out pretty well. Instead of using a piece of bacon, I kept it vegan and used a bit of liquid smoke. When I tasted the salad sans mustard, it tasted okay, but after adding about a teaspoon of dijon mustard, the dish was fantastic. I wouldn’t have guessed that the mustard changed the flavor so much. I’m still confused why Bittman calls this a salad since it’s more of a stew.
To accompany the stew, I also made socca, a chickpea flour based flatbread. It tasted better than the first time I made it. The trick is to use a very hot oven and a thinner batter. The handful of chopped rosemary I threw in helped too.
While buying the split peas, I spotted some dandelion greens in the produce aisle and picked them up since the BF had been talking about them. I didn’t want to just saute them in olive oil like regular greens, so I made a soup out of them. Apparently it’s called Provencal greens soup. The soup was hearty tasting and flavorful for only having a handful of ingredients: diced onions, garlic, dandelion greens, vegetable broth, and a beaten egg. The greens made the soup a little bitter, but not too bad. It seems like something my bitter-loving mom would like.