Sunday, August 2, 2009

I am not singing in this rain.....

I would think the heavens would be empty by now. Tempers are a little short and things that would normally be amusing are annoying. My garden is pretty much a disaster and all I can say is that the slugs are having a good summer. We have so much standing water on the side of the cabin that Jack may launch his kayak there. If the kayak weren't so heavy, we would carry it there and take a picture which might be amusing but most likely would be annoying. OK, enough of that.

Tonight would have been a good night for chowder or soup. I didn't have what I needed to make white bean soup. This soup would be my version of Tuscan. I think I will get the ingredients together for one night next week. I visualize white beans (cannelini), spinach, mushrooms, sausage, onions and garlic. White wine would be an essential ingredient as well.

A few years back I found lentils du Puy. I read about them years ago - what a delicacy - hard to find - the only ingredient that could be used and so forth. So I bought the little box and had no idea what I wanted to do with them. Jack found a recipe in Food and Wine. Wonderful!

Sausage and Lentils with Fennel

1 cup lentils (lentils du Puy)
4 ½ cups water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 medium fennel bulb (discard stalks, save fronds)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, cut in 1/4 inch dice
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 1/4 pounds sweet Italian sausage links
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive for drizzling

Bring lentils, water, and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy 2 quart sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer until tender but not falling apart - about 20 minutes. While the lentils are simmering cut fennel bulb into 1/4 inch dice. Chop enough of the fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Heat olive oil in a saute pan until hot but not smoking and stir in onion, carrot, fennel, fennel seeds and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook vegetables until very tender - about 10 minutes Prick sausage and cook or grill while vegetables and lentils are cooking. Drain cooked lentils in a sieve set over a bowl. Reserve cooking liquid. Stir lentils into vegetables and add about 1/4 cup cooking liquid to moisten. Stir in vinegar, 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, pepper and parsley. Cut sausages diagonally into 1/4 inch slices. Serve lentils topped with sausages and sprinkled with remaining fennel fronds. Drizzle all over with very good olive oil.

The picture at the top of the page was taken on a sunny day. Wonderful hollyhocks and the flag was painted by the owner of the house.

I had some technical difficulties today so only one picture. I will try again tomorrow!

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