Monday, June 30, 2014

Lentil, Fava Bean and Jicama Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette - My Legume Love Affair #72

It's summertime. For those cooks who are attempting to opt out of their hot kitchens for as many meals as possible, this recipe will come to the rescue. It requires only ten minutes at the burners, the time it takes to boil water and blanch some beans in it.  The rest is a quick chop job at the cutting board, and a pour of oil and vinegar.

Although fava beans can be conveniently added from a can, it is worth the finger fiddling to prepare the fresh, bright green ones directly from their pods.  The zipping, plucking, and pinching ritual is quite therapeutic, akin to snapping a sheet of bubble wrap, but without the guilty shame of admitting you are either stuck in your tenth year or having a really bad day.

You can serve this salad as a side dish to an omelette or grilled meat, but that would defeat its purpose. They don't call it slaving over a hot stove for nothing. ~

Lentil, Fava Bean and Jicama Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette - My own recipe 

Makes 4 filling, fiber-rich, complete-protein servings.


5 cups water
2 cups dried sprouted lentils (or other lentils that cook particularly quickly and retain their shape)
4 cups water
20 large, fresh fava bean pods
1 tablespoon flavorless oil (such as canola)
1 medium jicama, peeled and diced (or other crisp ingredient, such as celery)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup walnut pieces
1/3 cup minced red onion
3 tablespoons walnut oil (or olive oil)
8 tablespoons champagne or apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


In a medium saucepan, bring 5 cups water to boil. In another medium saucepan, bring the other 4 cups water to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Add lentils to first saucepan. (My sprouted lentils were al dente in 6 minutes.)

Meantime, bend or press open stem end of bean pods to reveal thin string that runs length of pods.  Pull each string down to end of pod. Place a thumb in stem end and zip it down pod to open it.  Pluck out each bean in succession, collecting them in a bowl. Discard the pods and strings. Increase heat to boil simmering water in second saucepan. Tip beans in and boil for 5-7 minutes. Drain immediately and rinse them in cold water. The beans will be heavily wrinkled.

Remove cooked lentils from heat, draining if necessary.Tip into a large serving bowl. Stir in flavorless oil to prevent sticking and drying. Set aside.

Gently nick open each wrinkled fava shell with a tiny pinch at the smaller end. The shell will be very fragile, as will the bean inside. Pinch the opposite side of the shell to slip the bean out. Add each bean directly to the lentils, assembly-line style. You will develop an easy rhythm.

Add jicama, carrots, and walnuts to bowl, mixing gently to avoid breaking fava beans. Whisk red onion with oil and vinegar.  Pour dressing on salad. Add salt and pepper to taste.  For a touch of sweetness, you can add a handful of dried cranberries; for dairy, spoonfuls of soft goat cheese would be a twangy, musky complement.

This recipe is for My Legume Love Affair #72, which is being hosted by me for the month of June.  I will have the round-up online in a few days, including the announcement of the prize winner/s.

Special thanks to Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen for keeping MLLA going for all these months since I officially retired from the event. And thanks, of course, to all of you who have joined in not only for this month, but for all the years since 2008. As time has told, I am not the only one who loves legumes.

See you again in a few days!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

And the Winner Is...

Best Wishes to R. Dutta, winner of random drawing for Lora Krulak's Veggies for Carnivores - Moving Vegetables to the Center of the Plate.  I will be be contacting Ms. or Mr. Dutta to arrange for delivery of this very delicious cookbook.

Thanks to all who joined in.

I will be back soon with more recipes, reviews, or giveaways in the following weeks. ~~

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cocktail Tomatoes on the Vine - Black and White Wednesday #132

My sepia-toned contribution to Cinzia's Black and White Wednesday, the long-running weekly gallery for fans of virtually color-free culinary photography.

Click on the link above to find out how you can join in, either as a participant or a host. ~~

Sunday, June 1, 2014


My blogging days were in their infancy. It was before everyone got addicted to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Most bloggers were focused on blogging and developing their styles and readerships, some by design, and some by serendipity. 

My Legume Love Affair (now run by Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen) was my serendipity.  For several months, I'd been banging out posts as participant or guest host for other bloggers' events.  It was entertaining, exciting, and enriching in those special ways that discovery of the novel often are.  But I was soon ready again for something different, something to test my creativity, courage, and commitment.  I wanted to develop my own event with its own theme.

All my brainstorming had settled on a niche group of ingredients which I knew was often considered a poor stepchild on the food chain: the legume.  The but of many a bean joke, legumes are as old as agriculture. In their 12,000-year-old history, thousands of varieties of legumes have been cultivated, along with countless ways to prepare and enjoy them.

Let me try to count the ways.  Since the very first My Legume Love Affair launched in January 2008, thousands of recipes have been welcomed, featured, and archived, all reflecting the finest diversity of delicious diets. 

Now in its seventy-second edition, I am very happy to announce that My Legume Love Affair is back when it all began, here at The Well-Seasoned Cook.  Thanks to dearest Lisa for carrying on MLLA with the talent, hospitality, and energy only matched by all of you who have served up your wonderful dishes throughout the years.

I'm feeling rather nostalgic now.  Do send your recipes to me this month to feed that feeling. ~~

Paraphrasing Lisa's words, here are the details for participation:

For your dish to be included in the roundup, it must contain more than just a few tablespoons of legumes. The slight exception to this are legumes such as fenugreek or tamarind that typically are used in smaller quantities. Fresh or dried beans, lentils, pulses, and the sometimes edible pods that contain these seeds, and derivative products such as tofu or besan, along with tamarind, fenugreek, carob, and peanuts are all acceptable. The possibilities are endless. Just ensure that your shining ingredient is in fact a member of the legume family. All types of cuisines and courses are welcome, so long as the mighty legume is the key ingredient and the recipe is vegetarian or vegan.

All you need to do is post your legume-centric dish, linking to Lisa's MLLA page, along with a link to this announcement. Email me (thewellseasonedcook AT yahoo DOT com) with your name, blog name, recipe title, and picture (500 pixels wide) of your dish, along with a link to your posted recipe. Use of the logo is optional. Your location must be included in your email for prize eligibility purposes and won't be published. The winner or winners (to be announced in the round-up first week of July) will be contacted via email. 

Prize information:

Hurst Beans is the sponsor of their prize to US residents for a 6-pack assortment of products by the N.K. Hurst Company.  
In addition, I am sponsoring my own prize each month that I will ship worldwide at own expense. This month's prize is a set of bowl scrapers.  The prizes are awarded through random drawing/s. If the winner is a resident of the US, she/he will win both the Hurst Bean Prize and my offering - otherwise a second drawing will take place for the Hurst prize from the pool of US residents. 
*Note: my immediate family and friends are ineligible to win a prize. Links to Amazon are for non-commercial purposes and intended as prize descriptions. Neither I nor Lisa are receiving monetary or product compensation.