No dinner tonight
After the Panix picnic (thanks, Shabbir, for organizing it), I played with fonts rather than pots and pans tonight. But ... here's a recipe anyway: what I made for the picnic.
For salads, I prefer to use French green lentils (aka lentilles du Puy), because they do not get mushy like regular gray lentils. (I have noticed that in a couple of places, Zabar's being the most notorious one, they sell gray lentils as "green". Don't be fooled by the label; the true green lentil is really dark green, not dirty gray, and it is smaller and more spherical.)
Boil the lentils for 40 minutes, or until tender, with a bay leaf and a small handful of rosemary. Drain well and let cool thoroughly.
(As an aside, I usually do not salt food during the cooking itself; instead I salt at the end, so that the salt stays outside the food, and is more effective on the taste buds. This allows using less salt for a given degree of saltiness. Major exceptions are mushrooms and stewed onions, where the salt helps draw out the moisture.)
Trim and cut into small cubes (1/4 to 1/2 inch) some tomatoes, celery branches, red and/or green peppers. Add drained capers, thinly sliced or slivered carrots, paper-thin slices of lemon, and chopped parsley and coriander leaves. Mix with the lentils. At the last moment, add olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and toasted pine nuts.
Serve under luxuriant Spring foliage in Central Park.