ffwd: lentil, lemon, and tuna salad

This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie, the first one for June, is starting the month off right. A definite winner, Lentil, Lemon, and Tuna Salad had three big takeaways for me:

1. The final salad was delicious. It makes a good addition to the lunchbox. I like the taste of tuna, but sometimes, in tuna salad, the flavor gets lost in all that mayonnaise. Here, the tuna was an equal partner with lentils. The tastes all blended nicely, and slightly nutty texture was a pleaser too. I found this lasted well in the fridge (and then the lunchbox) for a few days without getting soft.

2. I tried out a new ingredient: preserved lemon. I didn’t have time for a shopping quest last week, so I didn’t purchase the preserved lemon. I did find this recipe to make my own facsimile. How can you lose with Mark Bittman (my secret crush)? This was a “quick” version, so the lemon was diced before “preserving”. I made it the day before and it should keep for a couple weeks. I’m a big lemon fan and the flavor of the salted lemon peel did not disappoint. I used about half a cup, finely chopped, in the tuna salad. I’ll use the rest to try out some Moroccan recipes I’ve passed on in the past for lack of preserved lemon on hand.

3. The dressing for this salad is one I’ll use again and again this summer. The addition of grainy mustard and olive tapenade to a simple vinaigrette infused the dressing with a touch of Provence. I loved how it matched up with the lentils, but know that I will use it with other salads (white bean salad and green bean salad are at the top of the list). I love finding components of one recipe that I can reuse in others. Dorie’s book is chock full of these.

I cooked the lentils the way I usually do, with chopped onion and bay leaves. They only need to simmer about 15 or 20 minutes to be perfect for salads.

I’ll be short this week. I’m leaving later this morning to spend the weekend in New York City with my sisters and wanted to write up this post before I depart. If you have any suggestions on things to do or places to see (or eat), please share. I can read comments while I’m away.

For those of you that follow my bee (mis)adventures, I am happy to report that I’m back in normal comfort zone. The bee sting itching has subsided, and other than the ugly bandage over the worst bite on my foot, I’m no worse for the wear. As they say, “Stay Calm and Carry On”.

If you’re looking for the recipe for the delicious Lentils, Lemon, and Tuna Salad, you can find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. You can also read through others interpretations of this recipe (and others) on the Leave Your Link post for this recipe at French Fridays with Dorie.

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Posted on 1 June 2012, in French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Hi Betsy, I was thinking about you getting stung so many times that I had a dream about getting stung. Do you know the movie “Queen of the Sun” with the woman who dances with bees? Does she do that with a smoker? That was my image of you, covered in bees but not happy ones! Glad that you are recovering nicely.

    I love lentils and this looks fantastic!

    Have a great time in NYC. Have you been to the Frick? – its small and very manageable and cool to see after reading Wolf Hollow.

  2. Have a great time in NY!! And so happy you recovered nicely-that was a bit of a scare!
    Happy that you liked this. It’s getting lunch-duty here too, so that was encouraging!

    Safe travels!

  3. Glad to hear you are recovering.
    Enjoy your weekend in the City! I always like to have at least one breakfast or lunch @ Chelsea Market. We always like Freidman’s & of course, while you are at Chelsea, there are some great bakeries (I can indulge my macaron fix) & stores that carry some neat specialy food items.

  4. Hi Betsy – I’ve just caught up on your bee keeping adventures now, so sorry to hear that you got stung. No fun at all. When I was a child I actually tripped over a yellow jacket nest and ended up covered from head to toe in stings. I was quite a sight and I can well imagine what you have gone through. But happy to hear that you are on the mend. The bee keeping sounds fascinating and I hope that you get the hang of the smoker thing so that you can carry on. Best of luck.

  5. Betsy, so nice to read that you are feeling better! Have a wonderful and fascinating time in New York City!

    It sounds like you really enjoyed the lentil salad – we loved it too but I did not use or make the preserved lemons, it is great that you actually took the time to prepare some yourself.

  6. Glad you’re feeling better and have a lovely time with your sisters in NYC! I used a different “quick” recipe for the preserved lemons and it seemed to work pretty well. It lacked the bit of sugar that Bittman uses, so perhaps I’ll add that next time.

  7. Betsy, Looks delicious! I couldn’t find the preserved lemons…I’m thinking of making my own! Have fun in NYC..if you haven’t been to Eately, you might want to give it a try!

  8. You are one of the few who used preserved lemons… I’m sure it probably gave the dish a lot more zing.

  9. I was a big fan of the dressing, even though I improvised my tapenade in the jar! It was one of those moments I was grateful for the tube of anchovy paste in the fridge. I need to make a search on my Kindle copy of Bitty’s book for the preserved lemons. I wish I had thought of that before writing off the preserved lemons. Have a great week, Betsy!

  10. Betsy, I am so glad to hear that you’re on the road to bee-recovery. Didn’t want to mention but my brother, who is allergic to bee stings (yeah, we found out the hard way) almost died from just one sting. About the salad. I liked that you talked about the equal partnership between lentils and tuna. Good thought. I didn’t know “our” Mark had a quick version of preserved lemons. Glad to know that. I liked the salad also. I hope your week-end in NYC was wonderful.

  11. I didn’t make this recipe, Betsy, because I was sick the week this was due, but I do want to make it and it sounds like the perfect summer salad. I am glad you said it was a good lunchbox salad because that’s what I want to take more to work. Your salad looks beautiful. I am going to try Mark Bittman’s recipe for preserved lemons – I saw some at World Market awhile back and they were pretty pricey. I always have lemons on hand so I would like to try to make my own.

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