etching summer (warm lentil salad)


I arrive home to Kate semi-naked on the balcony trying desperately to land those first summer rays. Tan-line seeking to prove that winter is finished this time, working to etch clear evidence on our bodies that the leaf shoots are here to stay. That the cold Vancouver rain moved out with the cherry blossom snow. Taking leave of this winter that saw us both turning sore hearts into flurried evenings of dance and wine, embracing the space of living alone. I talk about writing, voice fear of posting all the unseen drafts, speak concern of seeming too forward, too expansive, too much. The breeze picks up. Instead of putting on a shirt she stares at me intently, puts down her drink, notes that my problem isn’t me-it’s vancouver. Too much concrete; not enough love. Maybe I don’t quite believe her but, taken up in the moment, we scream off the balcony variations of “even you vancouver, you need some love.” Twenty times over. Someone shouts back a surprisingly heartfelt “yes! i need love!” We collapse. So much yelling for such a quiet city. I put my clothes back on, make warm lentil salad with shoots of spicy arugula, and ponder. Maybe it was the sun, maybe it was the message. Maybe it is eating salad with bare feet on the fence. For whatever reason, it feels ok to be here.

Warm Lentil Salad with Arugula and Red Wine

1 cup dried french/du pois/green lentils (you pick)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely.
1/2 cup red wine
Rosemary sprig
2 tablespoons goat cheese (soft, or goat feta)
2-3 cups arugula
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Warm buttery toast or croutons (optional)


In a pot, cover the lentils with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover. Cook, 15-20 minutes, until lentils are tender and water is absorbed.

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook, over medium heat, for several minutes, until the onion is lightly browned. Add the garlic and rosemary and stir, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add the lentils and mix to incorporate. Pour in the red wine and cook until absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Taste for salt and season if necessary (I liked it with lots of pepper)

Transfer the lentils to a bowl or plates and toss with the greens. Sprinkle the goat cheese on top and add the parsley. Serve warm with buttered toast or croutons.

Adapted from “The Yellow House”

One thought on “etching summer (warm lentil salad)

  1. faronium

    Oh Vancouver! So much to love so much to not love. Luckily, recipes are portable and delicious anywhere you put them to use. As for Vancouver, I agree that the things to love edge out the things to not love there. I also think, as a buddhist might, that you can find things to love and happiness in any place just be being present. So, doing so in one of the most comfortable, wealthiest cities in the world shouldn’t be impossible. Right? Right…


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