Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lentil Crustini

This was last nights dinner. It also happens to be one of my year supply meals and it also happens to be quite delicious. Of course, it is also quite nutritious especially since we served it alongside a large green salad.

First off, let's talk about what a "Crustini" is....
It is an Italian thing. It is usually served at the beginning of a meal. Crustini is a piece of bread that is toasted and served with a variety of toppings. It can be made from lentils,herbs, tomatoes or even meat pastes. Italians love bread and they always have it with meals. The crustini came to place centuries ago to use up the stale, left-over bread. Back in the 12th century, the government imposed a tax on salt. The bakeries didn't want to pay it so they stopped using salt in the bread. With the salt missing, the bread would go stale quicker. A paste was made or herbed toppings used to go on the crustini to soften it a bit.

This is a very simple crustini but quite tasty and accepted by my entire brood. I think they were surprised as it doesn't look too appetizing. The side dish of lemon/rosemary new potatoes went perfectly. It is a very cheap meal. We used some whole grain artisan bread for our base. Lentils are full of nutrition, check out my past post for the nitty gritty here.

If you want to try out this meal at your home, here you go:

Lentil Crustini

2 T. Olive Oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
4 to 5 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, 1 t. dried sage if you must
2 cloves minced garlic
1 C. small green lentils, washed and picked over
2 1/4 C. boiling water
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan until hot but not burning. Add the onion, sage and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, being careful not to burn.

Stir in the lentils just to coat them with the oil then add the boiling water. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour or until the lentils are soft. I used the pressure cooker for about 15 minutes on the second ring.

Season with salt and pepper when done.

Spread on chewy, rustic bread while warm adding additional sage leaves if desired.

Rosemary and Lemon Roasted Potatoes

2 1/2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 cup olive oil
leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
juice of 2 lemons
zest of one lemon
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Par boil potatoes that have been cut into 1 inch chunks, peels on for about 10 minutes. Drain and let water completely drain off. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and coat potatoes, tossing to make sure all have been covered. Pour into an oiled roasting pan. Stirring occasionally, bake for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are slightly golden and tender. Salt and pepper when done.

**Recipes adapted from "Gusto Italiano".


Families are Forever said...

These recipes sound great! Question for you. If, by chance, we don't have access to produce (no stores or potatoes in our garden) where would we get the potatoes to use for the Rosemary and Lemon Roasted Potatoes? Canned potatoes?

Shari Goodman said...

I have freeze dried potato chunks that you rehydrate. They are pretty good when roasted. I have a solar oven if I needed to also.

Families are Forever said...

I have a solar oven as well. I'll have to pick up some freeze dried potato chunks. Thanks!

Frugal or Cheap? said...

Random Question - where do you purchase your meats when you do eat them? I'm looking for a good local source of grass-fed beef and free-range chicken (live in Mesa). Thanks!

Shari Goodman said...

I get my grass fed, local beef at the farmers market on Fridays on Center and University in Mesa. The meat is from a cattle ranch in mesa off of Val Vista. It is so good. The ground beef is $6 per pound so not cheap but when you eat it sparingly, it's not a big deal. I don't have a local place for chicken but there may be one coming soon. I will keep you informed on that. I have a rancher who is working on it. Here's hoping!

shawni said...

SOOO many great recipes and ideas, Shari. Thanks so much for sharing! I'm trying to figure out where to get the pro-biotic pills you told me about...I can't remember where you said to go...let me know if you get a sec. Love, Shawni