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Green Bean Salad and Potatoes with Pesto

I was in a mad rush to Cook Away My CSA this week before leaving for my high school reunion -- yes, that's my 20 year reunion. Can you believe I am still cooking and blogging and being so active at my age? Now, where was I? My memory just isn't what it used to be! Oh, yes -- To avoid spending a lot of time cooking, I made one of my favorite salads. I assure you that is a short list. I'm not a big salad fan: If it's going to be cold, and healthy, it had better be tasty!

Green and Yellow Bean Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing and Feta. This summer-in-a-bowl salad comes to you from Cooking Light, so you can feel justified eating ice cream for dessert.

An aside: We stopped at a roadside stand recently and Tom insisted we take home some wax beans. Not having been a fan of the only incarnation I'd ever tasted, School Lunch Wax Beans, I was somewhat less excited. Of course they were wonderful. Even if you aren't as enamored of them as my husband, give them a try in this salad. I didn't have any this time, and I missed them.

Here's what I started with from my Bull Run Farm CSA this week. Basil, Zephyr squash, Snap Beans, Broccoli, Potatoes and an apple (much to Tom's disappointment, we don't have a "fruit share," Leigh just had a few extras he was giving out). Not pictured: hardneck garlic.
From my CSA share, I used the basil, snap beans, broccoli and potatoes. We also sliced up the first heirloom tomatoes from our garden and the flavor was amazing.

The salad:

Broccoli and Potatoes with homemade pesto:

Stupice heirloom tomato from my garden:

Warm Potato and Lentil Salad

As a member of the Cooking Away My CSA group, I humbly offer my first attempt at using the bounty I received from my CSA, Bull Run Farm in Virginia.I can barely contain my pride, because for someone who cooks quite a lot, I have to admit a reluctance to experiment with recipes. I didn't exactly go hog wild, but I didn't measure a single ingredient!

I used potatoes, fresh garlic and the remnants of my spring onions from my CSA. The mint I had picked up on a whim from the farmers market and the parsley was from my garden. At the last minute I threw in some lemon balm too (mostly because I did not have a lemon and the rather sad lime I squeezed in as substitute didn't yield much juice; I did go to the store later and remedy this).

The Verdict: Delicious! This is perfect for bringing to a picnic or serving guests at home. I think it would be even better if you added goat or sheep cheese as the author suggests for a heartier dish.

Warm Potato and Lentil Salad
Adapted from In Season: Cooking with Vegetables and Fruits
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 1/4 cup lentils, preferably French Puy I used green lentils I had on hand
1 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 garlic clove, peeled but not chopped (fresh garlic from my CSA)
1/4 onion, chopped
(I used the last of my CSA spring onions)
Some parsley stalks
(I bruised mine with the flat of a knife)
Handful of coarsely chopped parsley

1 small bay leaf
Plenty of salt and pepper
1/2 lb potatoes
Plenty of mint leaves

Grated zest and juice of one lemon
*Lemon balm, chopped (optional)

Cook the lentils in enough water to cover together with the olive oil,
garlic, onion, parsley stalks, bay leaf and salt. For a richer taste,
use half water, half white wine. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
The lentils should be soft but not falling apart. Drain.

Boil the potatoes in salted water with most of the mint. When they are cooked, drain and allow them to cool a bit, but not completely. Peel and cut them into chunks. I overcooked mine a tad, so I just chopped into various sizes as they were soft and falling apart. Don't chop them too small, I think having more surface area allowed more mint and parsley to stick to them.

Add the potatoes to the lentils. with more olive oil, the lemon zest and juice, and lots of chopped parsley and mint.

Season well and eat while still warm.