Lentils du Puy and the Archbishop of Canterbury

Well, we have finally reached the end of our French cooking adventure. It’s been a nice little tour through a bit of our heritage. We started with our coq a vin, dined on some delicious leeks, sampled some lovely sables with a delicate mousse, kicked it up a notch with some ratatouille and of course quieted things down with our souffles. As for our last French recipe, we received a special treat – a tin of French Lentils du Puy from the lovely Eva at kitcheninspirations when we met up in Canada earlier this summer. Lentils du Puy

Lentils du Puy are a highly regarded lentil and hail from the Le Puy region of France. Knowing these were special lentils, we’ve been waiting for just the right recipe to inspire us. Then after finding some tart cherries at the farmer’s market, I knew where we were headed – a Lentil and Seared Scallop Salad with a Cherry-Pom Vinaigrette. The recipe starts with the vinaigrette for which we used the tart cherries, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and a special bottle of pomegranate molasses courtesy of Barb at Profiteroles and Ponytails who you may recall, we also met in Canada. vinaigrette ingredients

We pureed the cherries and a shallot. We then mixed in the vinegars, molasses and some seasonings. After a bit longer in the food processor, we pushed the mixture through a sieve. We mixed the dressing with a bit of oil and placed the vinaigrette into the refrigerator to cool. making dressing

While the vinaigrette chilled we prepared the salad. We used fresh spinach, the lentils (of course!), goat cheese, a few sliced shallots and even a bit of bacon. bacon

Next we seared our scallops using a bit of fleur de sel for that extra French touch. We then served the salad topped with a scallop and a side of the cherry-pom vinaigrette. seared scallop salad

This was a delightful and filling meal. The lentils provided a firm texture and strong flavor which was complemented well by the vinaigrette and goat cheese. Lentils du Puy

I was nervous the strong flavors would overshadow the scallop, but it too worked providing a soft texture and flavor to the meal. It was a definite hit with both Mike and I coming in at a solid 3 spoons. Lentil salad

I was also a bit apprehensive about how this meal would go over with the kids. Well, as you can probably guess, we had mixed reviews. Miss A, not a big fan of salad just yet, was not too impressed. She liked the lentils and ate her scallop. She even picked out the bacon and cheese. The spinach and dressing were left behind. I suppose she prefers her salads deconstructed. It was 2 spoons for her. Lentil and Seared Scallop Salad with Cherry-Pom Vinaigrette

Mr. N on the other hand was a bit less picky. He ate his whole salad and didn’t complain. He too said it was only 2 spoons; although I suspect if I made this again he would eat it. lentils

This was a flavorful and bright way to serve the lentils, especially in the summer. We enjoyed it so much in fact, that we served it as a side salad (minus the scallop) to Friend Sue and Richard for dinner the following weekend. It went very well with the gluten free meatloaf that Friend Sue made for the evening. Perhaps she’ll let me share the recipe soon. It was a winner for sure! Until then, here’s the recipe for the salad: Lentil and Seared Scallop Salad with Cherry-Pom Vinaigrette

I should mention that if you happen to have several extra cherries lying about after making the vinaigrette, it never hurts to toss them in a crisp with some other fruits hiding in the fridge. We made this Cherry, Blueberry, Peach crisp for dessert that evening. I think you can safely assume this one was 4 spoons all around. Sadly, I don’t have a recipe as I just threw it together for a basic, but delicious crisp. cherry peach blueberry crisp

Well, that successfully concludes our French cooking summer. It’s been a delicious little adventure and it was quite a bit of fun to delve into our own family history. But it’s not all French in our blood. We have quite a bit of English as well, and Mr. N recently channeled his inner Brit to play the Archbishop of Canterbury in a student version of Excalibur. the archbishop

It was his best performance to-date and so much fun for him (and us!). He even developed – and maintained – a quite acceptable British accent. It was a smashing success. His Excellency

Perhaps we should think about revisiting English food as well, but first we have our birthday meal wrap-ups, a stateside adventure and then once school starts we’ll be selecting our new country for the next round of international cooking. I think we’ll be heading back to the Middle East. Enjoy your week everyone! Cheerio and au revoir!

26 comments on “Lentils du Puy and the Archbishop of Canterbury

  1. Shamim says:

    Satsumagurl June 24, 2010 9:07 am Thank you for sharing the ricepe. Put together a pot of this soup tonight for dinner. It was wonderful—I mean really wonderful. Nice balance of flavors and spice. Best soup ricepe I’ve made in a while.

  2. You have quite the actor in the family, Kristy! The Archbishop! No small role to fulfill. :-) Delightful! This is another exceptional dish, and quite elegant! I don’t think I’ve had anything quite like this, and I can’t wait to give it a try. I love scallops! This is definitely a cut above!

  3. I can just tell by those facial expressions that Mr. N truly embraced his inner Brit ;-). Fabulous! Congratulations on another successful performance young man. This is what a call a meal salad — perfectly complete and so many delicious elements too. Scallops and bacon, what a tasty combination and now I can hardly wait to try my pomegranate molasses and French lentils from the Toronto ladies as well! (hopefully our stuff will arrive from Canada sometime in the next 6 months or so – lol). Love the pull-together crisp – what a delight!

  4. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    WOW, Mr. N is so matured in the costume and I can imagine how wonderfully he played. You must be so proud! You and your family eat such a gourmet food at home. I want to be your kid, Kristy! The Cherry-Pom Vinaigrette sounds so good (and fancy!). As always I enjoy reading your posts!

  5. I love French cooking, but not as much as I love that actor!! Send him to Hollywood, stat! He is adorable!!

  6. Kristy,
    I love the looks of this recipe — as well as the fact that it makes use of the lentils and Pom molasses all in one recipe! Brilliant! I have been keeping my cooking very simple in the past few weeks but boy would I like to make this. My girls wouldn’t touch any of it so I am impressed with both of your brave chefs for eating some/all of this. Pass along my congratulations to Mr. N for a job well done in his performance. I started a rule in the house that anyone who yells must do so in a British accent– so he would fit right in over here….but probably never yells like my two girls! Thanks for the shout out! I feel so badly that I have lost touch the past few weeks — I am hoping things ease up soon. Will email shortly. Enjoy these last few weeks of summer.

  7. Raymund says:

    Wow I missed coming here, after a long vacation here I am back again looking at those recipe and photos of your lovely kids. That salad looks so tasty, I want something like that light but flavourful

  8. Charles says:

    Haha, excellent – was Mr. N able to get some tips from my YouTube videos in the end? :D To be honest, you just need to add in phrases like “old bean”, “chaps”, “old fruit”, and “what ho!” and you’re well away :D.

    You apparently know more than me Kristy – I’ve been here 10 years pretty much and I had no idea that du puy lentils were such a “big thing” :o… Is fleur de sel the same as “sel de guérande”? You’d appreciate that I think – it’s very nice… especially on top of slices of grilled bone marrow (you sprinkle it on the bone slice and then eat the marrow out with a spoon and spread it on toast!).

  9. Been meaning to check this out for days. So glad I did. This looks fantastic!

  10. Eva Taylor says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely shout out Kristy! And what a recipe you chose for these lentils, gorgeous and delicious! The cherry dressing sounds perfect too. Barb and Kevin are coming up to our cottage this weekend and I’ve planned to make the salad I had on my blog, now I wish I had seen this recipe first; but you know we can’t deviate from plan up north, I doubt the grocery stores would even have scallops! Yes, that sad. I’m glad the kids liked it too, they sure do have sophisticated tastes, Miss A will eventually come around.
    Glad Mr N had such a successful play, he looks so serious, seriously adorable, that is. I can sure see Mike in him.
    Have a great weekend.

  11. Karen says:

    Your salad had so many flavors going on. I think I would have to give it a 4 spoon rating. It is nice that Mr. N enjoys his acting…no telling where it may lead. :)

  12. Ooo, your lentil salad has my taste buds dancing around with excitement but Mr N most definitely stole the show with his performance! :-) Mandy xo

  13. I have yet to find those du Puy lentils, but you have me thinking I just might find them in the specialty store out here in Kelowna. I’ll have to take a look tomorrow. We have all sorts of cherries, but alas, no good cooking utensils, so your recipe will have to wait. I may be able to pull off a crumble though. Your son looks so earnest in his play, he seems so natural and relaxed as an actor, that’s not common in someone so young! xx

  14. A budding new actor! You must have been such a proud mama. I love the expressions on his face. Now on to the food, the salad and the dressing looks stunning but I am sure the kids were more excited about that delightful cherry, berry crisp. British food week sounds fun so looking forward to seeing more recipes from your kitchen. Take care, BAM

  15. Norma Chang says:

    Quite and actor Mr. N is. How proud you must have been watching the performance.
    That salad is to die for. If I were living on the coast of Maine, I would substitute a lobster claw for the scallop.

  16. Purely.. Kay says:

    Oh my goodness .. look at Mr. N. He looks adorable. Okay he should be on Broadway now :). And you do know it was hard for me to look part the bacon right? LOL. Really hard. And when I managed too this seemed like a really good dish.

  17. sallybr says:

    The intensity on the eyes of Mr.N in that first photo was something! Please make sure he doesn’t forget who I am, once he is rich and famous, I want an autograph!

    As a child, I would run away from this recipe so fast that I could win a marathon race without training, but now that I am wiser, I would love it all for my dinner tonight ;-)

  18. Look at that actor you have got! Quite a talent! Only wish I could have seen the play in person! Love the lentils- go Eva- what a nice gift from her and i love the salad- especially the scallop addition and i think Miss A is onto something with her “deconstructed” taste for the different salad components!

  19. robisaba says:

    I’m very intrigued by the cherry-pom vinaigrette, will definitely try it. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Oh, this is making my tummy rumble with hunger-pangs :)

  21. ChgoJohn says:

    This sounds like a fantastic salad, Kristy. Including a seared scallop really does put it over the top. And a little bit of bacon never hurts! I’ve a freezer with more than a few pounds of tart cherries and never would have thought to use them to make vinaigrette. I’ll be sure to do so now. I was about to ask where you found the lentils du Puy until I read they were a gift from our Canadian friend. My search continues …
    Mr. N really has taken to the stage. That’s fantastic!

  22. Marilyn Oxby says:

    This was a nice “pull it all together” post. What are Lentils du Puy? The pictures of Mr. N are great!

    • Kristy says:

      They are green lentils from the Du Puy region of France and grown in volcanic soil. They hold their shape better than most other lentils, so they are a good choice for salads. :)

  23. hotlyspiced says:

    I love the images of the play. The costumes are great. How thrilling for him to have such an opportunity to tread the boards. Your du puy dish looks lovely. I think the lentils would go very well with the bacon xx

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