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Mindful : October 2015
October 2015 mindful 31 Resident foodie and mindful eating advocate Béatrice Peltre finds wholesome delight in lentils. Eating lentils is like taking a bite out of the earth. And I mean that in a good way. They’re dense, packed with nutri- tion, and make you feel grounded. Even their colors—deep green, rich orange- red, black, brown—evoke earthiness, as do their mellow flavors, which range from nutty to peppery. The key to cooking with lentils is creativity. Their simplicity demands that you get a little adventurous and, since they’re so small, you can bring together a bunch of flavors and textures in a single bite. I like to make a big batch and keep them in my fridge, then on any given day I’ll grab whatever gets me inspired and make a nice lunch. My advice: Add something raw, something acidic, something juicy, something crunchy, and something colorful. Often I am drawn to root vegetables when cooking with lentils—perhaps because they, too, are earthy. For the salad with black lentils, I use a bunch of vibrant, colorful root vegetables, which look beautiful on a bed of black, pebble-like lentils. Adding a silky boiled egg and some briny feta brings the whole thing together. My recipe for green lentils with cod and watercress joins earth and ocean, with cod’s light, flaky flesh contrasting against the heartiness of lentils. The most important thing here is not to overcook the cod, or it will dry out and disintegrate on the plate. For the lentils, test them until you get the texture you want. Add a handful of fresh, peppery watercress, and you have a wholesome yet delicate autumn dish. A votre santé et bon appetit! ● A Taste of Earth Recipes, food styling, photographs, and narrative by Béatrice Peltre. Find more of her work at latartinegourmande.com. Serves 4 4 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 shallot, finely chopped 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced 3 1⁄2 ounces celeriac, finely diced 1 cup French green lentils du Puy, sor ted and rinsed Sea salt and pepper 1 bay leaf 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock 13⁄4 pounds cod, cut in 4 pieces of the same size 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley 1 cup watercress In a pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When warm, add the ground cumin and shallot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrot, celeriac, and lentils and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, season with salt and pepper, and add the bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender. In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. When warm, add the cod and cook on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly brown and cooked through. Dress the lentils with the parsley. Ser ve in individual plates with the watercress and grilled cod. Green Lentils with Cod and Watercress food