Playground Conversations

September 09,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

It has become a new tradition in the short two weeks or so that R has been in kindergarten that we play on the "Big Toy" after school each day. You see, the kindergarten classes share a smaller playground for their recess, only venturing out to the super cool Big Toy if the older kids aren't out playing. So being able to play on the Big Toy after school is quite the treat. My good friend Nicole has a first grader at the same elementary school and has been joining us for most Big Toy afterschool adventures and introducing me to many other parents, almost all of whom I promptly forget their names. (Tangent: am I the only one who can remember kids' names, but need to be told 3-4 times before I can remember parent names?) Last week on the playground Nicole introduced me to a classmate's mom, who I believe was named Lisa. While I am not sure if I have her first name correct, I do remember that when she found out that I am a food blogger, she mentioned she was looking for a good Lentil recipe. A recipe with cooked lentils and diced tomatoes in a vinaigrette. Lisa, this recipe is for you. I made it yesterday for dinner and had it again for lunch. I loved it, R ate a bit, G mostly played with it and SPH liked it too. Marinated Lentil Salad 1 1/2 cups lentils 4 cups water 2 cups chicken broth (or just use all water) 1 rib celery, diced 1/2 cup red onion, diced 1 cup of chopped tomatoes 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin salt and pepper to taste Combine the water and chicken broth over high heat until it boils. Add the lentils and turn to a simmer, cooking 20 minutes or until they are tender. Drain well. While the lentils are simmering, dice the celery, red onion and tomato. Immediately after the lentils are done cooking, place the diced vegetables and parsley on top and stir well, so the steam from the hot lentils tenderizes the vegetables a little bit: In a separate bowl, mix the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well and pour over the lentils. Can be served immediately, or marinate in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. Makes 6 cups, about 8 servings SPC