Gentle Lentil

This is December in Provence – View downI’m sure I’m going to wake up tomorrow in a blizzard for writing this the weather has been incredible.   Dan and I have been trying to make the most of it by going for plenty of walks.  The best of which was a mammoth four hours climbing through the Mill houses and water ways used to store and mill grain.  Rather worryingly Dan found the route while out mountain biking although I have no idea how he got his bike up the metal ladder and rope pullies and foot holds.  P1020100gullyWhat this photo fails to show is the series of plunge pools 40ft beneath us on the left.  One of the funniest bits was when we caught up with a man who was doing the same walk barefoot!  Below – The kind of single track Dan dreams about.singletrackWe also went for a gentler walk to the top of St Saturnin les Apt (which of course has a stonking view) as a way to work up an appetite for an evening with friends … in a vineyard.St Saturnin Les AptThe idea is you have a four course meal, in the Vinters home, where they provide you with a different one of their wines with each plat.  Which is fairly lethal.  There is a set menu each night, ours was as follows – Crab Risotto which was served in a teeny Le Creuset and had a soft creamy goats cheese melting in the middle of it.  It was topped by a huge cheese biscuit that was as thin as a crisp.  That was followed by Cod wrapped in Bacon served on a gentle lentil cushion – meaning those really tiny Puy lentils that are cooked with onions, garlic and creme fraiche.  There was also a puree’d celeriac pool around the outside, again with a very artful creme fraiche ripple.  Next was the cheese course consisting of various goat and sheep choices, which was served with salad leaves (including lots of rocket my favourite) and home made bread.  Then desert! Ohmygoodness it was basically my dream collection of sweet things – a little apple and rum and raisin tart which was sat on a melted smear of Carambar!  There was also a Salted Caramel ice cream scoop with a wafer thin vanilla shortbread biscuit.  Total heaven.  All of which cost 32 euro a person.  This is the only photo I managed to take – Dinky teaIts been a double Lentil whammy of a week as I made this recipe from Mary McCartney’s book FOOD.  Dan was initially wary as he associated lentils with sock and sandal wearing 70’s hippie vegans.  It turned out a bit of additional bacon was all he needed to change his mind.LentilWash 200g of Lentils under cold water.  Bring to the boil in a pan of salted water.  Simmer until cooked.  Rinse your lentils and add them to a crumbled block of Feta, chopped spring onions, halved baby tomatoes, the juice of one lemon and a glug of Olive oil.  I also added bacon and basil.

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