My contribution this week for 100 Mile Monday is a fairly light meal—salad and rolls! But the salad is not such a light salad, as it has lentils, beets, cabbage, blue and cheddar cheese, and… bacon! And the rolls are actually whole wheat popovers (or according to our friends, “Yorkshire Pudding”). Enjoy this meal by itself or bring it to a potluck with your friends, which is what we ended up doing with it (and they had a salad with bacon in it too, so basically it was like the best collaborative dinner ever… or maybe it was the margaritas and beautiful evening spring sunshine… the kids bouncing on the trampoline… hmmm).
Winter’s Fading Salad (Beet, Cabbage, Lentil, and Bacon Salad)
Adapted from Food & Wine
- 1 cup dried lentils*
- 3 medium beets
- ½ red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 4-6 slices thick bacon
- ½ cup fresh parsley or 1 Tbs. dried parsley
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
- ¼ cup crumbled extra sharp cheddar
- ½ cup oil
- 3 Tbs. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs. honey
- Salt and pepper
Steam the beets (or boil them) until soft, about 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the lentils—cover them with 2 inches water, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until soft. Drain and allow them to cool. While the beets and lentils are cooking chop the cabbage finely, in thin pieces about 2 inches long. If you have a double steamer you can steam the cabbage above the beets, just making sure to steam the cabbage for about 10 minutes. Finally, while all the above items are cooking go ahead and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove it to a paper towel to dry and then slice it crosswise into thin strips.
Remove the beets to a bowl of cold water and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. When they are cool enough to be handled rub the skin off with your hands or peel them with a peeler. If they are sufficiently cooked the skin should come right off. Then slice them in thin wedges.
To make the dressing just mix the oil (it can be olive or canola), lemon juice or vinegar, and honey and add salt and pepper to your liking. If you want extra bacon flavor add some of the bacon grease that’s leftover.
In a large bowl toss the lentils, beets, and parsley with the dressing. Then add in the cabbage and continue to toss together to evenly coat the various parts. Top the salad with the bacon and crumbled cheeses (you can use just blue or cheddar or both!). (To crumble cheese hold the cheese in one hand over the salad and twist a fork into the cheese allowing the pieces to fall into the salad). Drizzle any remaining dressing over top and serve.
FYI – In the future I’d like to try to veganize (term from The Sweet Life) this salad, starting by replacing the bacon with Parsnip Bacon!
Whole Wheat Popovers (Or Yorkshire Pudding?**)
Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food and my grandma’s recipe. Makes about 1 dozen.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted (plus more to grease the muffin pan)
- ⅔ cup whole wheat flour
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
My grandma’s handwritten recipe warns “don’t preheat the oven.” That’s not always an option when I’m cooking but I try to follow her advice. Regardless, these will cook at 425 degrees, it’s really up to you if you preheat or not, just know that if you don’t preheat they will take longer to cook (add 5-10 minutes, depending on your oven).
Whisk together the eggs, milk, and butter. Then whisk in the flours and salt (my grandma also says “disregard lumps”). Generously grease a muffin pan (I used some of the leftover bacon grease!). If you have time you can make the batter ahead and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready. Pour the batter into the muffin cups no higher than three-quarters full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crispy on top. Fill any empty muffin cups with water. Serve immediately, aka, don’t bake these until everything else looks like it will be ready too!
If you fill the muffin cups 1/2 full they will turn out like this, still delicious, but less “popped-over”
*100 Mile Disclaimer – The lentils were not locally grown but they seem to be locally processed or packaged. But I recently found a local source for lentils so in the future they will for sure be! Lemon juice will never be local, not here, at least not any time soon I hope! Alas, the parsley was not local either, but potentially I should be able to find a greenhouse source.
**According to the Whirled Why’d Web, Yorkshire pudding is slightly different from popovers because it uses the drippings from meat for its grease. It is also sometimes cooked as a large pancake in the same pan the meat was roasted in! Sounds like a good idea for the future….