I grew up in a small village in southern Germany but I took advantage of every little chance to get out of there. I was made for big city life, not country life. The older I get, the more I am at least able to enjoy the landscape "down there". On the culinary side, there is not too much I miss from that region, either. Schwartenmagen for instance, is so not my taste. But there are also a few things I like. Laugengebäck or Spätzle are things I sometimes miss. We never ate that many Swabian dishes in my family anyway, but there is one dish which I encountered several times when I had lunch at a friend's place: Lentils with Spätzle. I was always totally flabbergasted (which, by the way, must be one of the coolest words, like, ever) by that weird combination. I mean, it's like eating noodles with potatoes. Or french fries with rice! Carbs with carbs - can it get any more boring? So, you might have guessed it, lentils and Spätzle was not one of my favorite dishes either.
The Swabian Alb used to be one of the biggest producing areas for lentils in Germany until the 1950s, and only recently have organic farmers started to grow the traditional kind of Alb-lentils again. Of course I had to try them, and they are actually very tasty, with a distinct flavour of nut. They are also consumer-friendly, as there is no need to soak them - just throw them into the hot water and they will be done in 20 minutes. Concerning aesthetics, they really do a great job coloring the water grass-green - cooooool!
Today's recipe is an Alb-lentils salad which is also easy to take along to work, so I will make this my second entry for the Blog event "essen für unterwegs".
75 g of Alb-lentils (I guess any other kind of lentils work just fine, too)
1/2 an apple
some feta cheese (optional)
some Welsh onions (optional)
pinch of sugar, salt and pepper
Boil the lentils for about 20 minutes until they are soft. Let the lentils cool off. In the meantime, chop one half of the apple up into small cubes (eat the other half while your cooking, remember, vitamins are healthy!). Chop up the walnuts.
In a bowl, mix 2 spoons of vinegar, 5 spoons of olive oil, the sugar, salt and pepper. Add the lentils, nuts and apple. You can let the salad rest over night in the fridge like that, if you want to take it to work the next day. Before serving, add the diced feta cheese and the chooped Welsh onions if you wish so (they missed the photo shoot since I added them in the morning after the photos had already been taken in the evening).
Makes one big lunch portion. The salad tastes best with a piece of bread!
The recipe is inspired by a salad recipe on the Alb-lentils' homepage: http://www.alb-leisa.de/.
Insider information: You see the three walnuts posing in the last two pictures? Don't they look familiar to you? That's right, they were already the models in the first photo of my last post, as they were the only walnuts in one piece in the bag. Wonder if I should start to call them Heidi, Naomi and Gisele?