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
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.