Friday, June 15, 2012

Picnic Time


I will be at my most pregnant during the heat of the summer, so I am reveling in the 75 - 80 degree weather.  I love the mix of spring rain we've been having, and the overcast days are my favorite.  I don't find them dreary.  It's a relief to just splash in the puddles and not have to worry about sun exposure and heat waves, at least for now.  

Most days I pack up a grocery bag worth of snacks and provisions and Roman and I set out to see what adventures we can find.  Sometimes we have a plan, other days we follow Roman's whimsy.  One thing is for sure, we've been lunching outside.  While Roman's meals might be a little more standard (mini bagels with sun butter and jam are his favorite), I tend to fold some vegetables and hummus into a whole wheat tortilla.  

His new nap-free schedule has him in bed early, which means I'm basically house bound most evenings.  One of these nights we will treat ourselves to a family picnic. I will sneak in a few sips of P's chilled white wine and indulge in this salad.  Perfect for sitting on a lawn somewhere, listening to some live music, watching the boats go by on the Hudson.  In my perfect fantasy, there are even fireflies.  But in my real world, the little one's needs come first, so incase I don't make this modest dream happen, I hope some of you will.  

Salad of Shrimp, Lentils, Sweet Potato and Mâche Rosettes with a Lemon Tarragon Dressing
Serves 6

This salad should be served slightly chilled.  Once you have combined the mâche and dressed the salad, serve it quickly, otherwise the mâche will wilt.  

1 cup dry green lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 lb. medium shrimp (peeled and deveined) 
3.5 ounces mâche rosettes (lamb's ear lettuce)

Lemon Tarragon Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

For the salad, bring 3 cups of water to boil in a medium sauce pan.  Add 1 cup lentils and cover, reduce heat to simmer for 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender but not mushy.  Drain the lentils and allow them to cool.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350.  Cut the sweet potatoes into small cubes and toss them in some olive oil.  Roast for about 25 minutes.  
Sautee the shrimp in some olive oil for a few minutes on each side until just cooked.
Once the lentils and sweet potatoes are cooled, combine them in a large bowl.  Prepare the dressing as indicated below, setting aside a few tablespoons for the shrimp.  Add the mâche to the bowl and toss all three ingredients with the dressing.  Divide the salad amongst 6 plates, toss the shrimp in the reserved dressing and arrange them on top of the salads. 

For the dressing, combine the olive oil and lemon juice.  Add the tarragon and shallot.  Season with salt and pepper.


  1. I'll watch R when you are here so you can make your dream come true! Fireflies guaranteed!

  2. This looks awesome, and I haven't eaten shrimp in a while. Enjoy those adventures with your little guy.

  3. A perfect salad for the summer days!

  4. I love shrimp and this salad looks scrupmtious.
    Good luck with the tough days ahead. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be pregnant during the hot NY summer.

  5. Nicole: I am glad to hear that you are taking summer and pregnancy one day at a time! This salad sounds like the perfect picnic fare. I do a roasted shrimp, orzo, and corn salad with herbs and lemon juice, which falls in this category...and is always a hit! Sometimes being home is best when waiting for a big event to change your life.

  6. I'm so glad one of us is enjoying the dreary weather. Pairing the lentils with the shrimp sounds great.

  7. I love shrimp in salads. This looks wonderful.

  8. I hope you made it to your picnic, and perhaps we can share one together this summer watching the Hudson flow by if you are not too huge to sit on the grass by then. But promise you will make this? Will send you my dates real soon.


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