Last Saturday, my cousin Krupa came over for lunch. Krupa is the cousin who introduced me to Enid Blyton (and subsequently, all the books I read for years) back when we looked like this:
Now she is getting her PhD in English at Cornell where she is writing her thesis on Bengali and Urdu literature. Krupa and I share a love for eating as well as reading- when she still lived in Bombay, we always spent a couple days of my visits baking or cooking. Our food love probably stemmed from all the picnics we had on my deck in Massachusetts:
Originally, I had planned to make dhansak for her, but that idea quickly died when I realized I didn’t have any of the ingredients. So we decided to make my version of my mother’s lentil salad and Anthony’s bruschetta.
The lentil salad is super easy to make if you buy precooked lentils from Trader Joe’s (or somewhere else).
Simply combine the lentils with olive oil, lemon juice, sundried tomatoes, parsley, jalepenos, red onion, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper, all to your own tastes. Or combine the lentils, lemon juice, and olive oil with other ingredients of your choice. I usually also like to add celery and avocado, but I forgot to do so on Saturday. I think the creaminess of avocado goes really well with the lemon and pine nuts, though my mother disagrees. My mom usually serves this salad with feta but we served ours with a soft ripened mushroom cheese and a truffle cheese, both on the side.
Anthony and Waqas made the bruschetta, which was amazing. They brushed slices of a baguette with olive oil and toasted the bread in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the bread had a cripsy exterior. Then they combined some canned tomatoes with freshly chopped ones, basil, garlic, and olive oil. This meal was easy to prepare and each bite of the bruschetta and the salad popped with fresh flavors. After lunch, we played Scrabble. Krupa and I (well, mostly Krupa) destroyed Anthony and Waq, because all of Krupa’s words were above 20 points. It was ridiculous, and the boys looked distraught. I felt bad. And that was Saturday.