ffwD: Lentil, Lemon & Tuna Salad

I have no qualms telling you that I had every intention of skipping this week’s recipe. However, I already know there’s another assignment this month that I’ll definitely be skipping. (I’m referring to you lime honey beet salad on June 15th!) So I thought it best to at least try this week’s assignment. First, the ingredients didn’t jump out at me: lentils, tuna, and preserved lemons? Not to mention black olive tapenade. None of these scream “Delicious!” to me. Second, tracking down all the ingredients required trips to two stores, neither of which had all three items in stock. My usual go-to for specialty items, Fox & Obel, only had the preserved lemons. Really? No lentils whatsoever and all the black olive tapenade was sold out. So, I go to Whole Foods, and there were no lentils du Puy or black olive tapenade to be found. (By the way, there was NO way I was making homemade tapenade as suggested by Dorie). However, I discovered Whole Foods carried organic green French lentils in the self-service bins and Cat Cora’s Greek Kalamata olive tapenade with sundried tomato. These substitutes would have to do, and I hurriedly made my way to the checkout stand. Finally, the recipe calls for two teaspoons of grainy French mustard. Again, really? Mustard? Sigh…

Surprisingly enough, this salad was tasty, though it’s not the prettiest when the flaked tuna is mixed into the lentils. I let the salad sit for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to meld, and it was worth it. I suppose I’m one of “those” people that will eat an ingredient they don’t really care for as long as the taste is pretty well masked, as the mustard was by the tapenade and lentils. I included both the rind and pulp of the preserved lemon, but the smell of it reminded me of horse saddle polish. I ate a tiny bit for dinner because it was getting late, and I scooped up the stuff with red bell pepper strips. No doubt that some of the salad will be coming to work as my lunch.

To see how others fared with this lentil, lemon & tuna salad, check out French Fridays with Dorie where we make recipes from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.

70 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TrafficDiva
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 07:09:19

    It looks extremely healthy…for those who are looking to eat healthy! And even though I’m not one of those people, I still appreciate it for those who are!! GREAT JOB..Have an AWESOME Weekend!!

  2. Sue/the view from great island
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 07:10:51

    Sometimes the least photogenic food is the most delicious, all the ingredients sound great to me. I hate it when my go-to stores don’t have what I’m looking for, it’s happening more and more now that food stores are stocking lawn chairs, make-up… there was a big display of clothes the last time I was in Whole Foods! Sheesh!

  3. Catalina @ Cake with Love
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 07:21:02

    I have never thought of adding lentils to my tuna salad, but this is such an awesome idea!

  4. saffronandhoney
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 07:21:27

    I remember you don’t like beets, so I am happy that you gave this one a go!

  5. thekalechronicles
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 07:42:08

    You are a brave one, trying things you don’t think you will like. I eat neither lentils nor tuna, so this would be out for me. Ugly food requires your best bowl and perhaps several garnishes. As a painter, I find brown food challenging, as well as small textures like grains of rice or cornmeal.

  6. alwaysaddmorebutter
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 07:54:18

    I applaud you! This is the first one I have skipped and I’m feeling guilty. I’m glad you liked it because it gives me hope that maybe I could to. I’m thinking of giving it a try over the weekend. I am also skeptical of the beets. You are not alone!🙂

  7. Mary Hirsch
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 07:57:23

    Yes, there is nothing pretty about lentils, that’s for sure. Red is the perfect garnish color. Although I loved this salad, a delicious tasty surprise, there were a lot of ingredients. My Mise en Place covered my entire breakfast table. Healthy, Nutritious. Glad you made it.

  8. ceciliag
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 08:40:29

    I think I prefer to taste the ingredients in a dish as well. Instead of a brown but tasty muddle. I think this is why I prefer simple food with the minimum of good ingredients, allowing a taste to shine. I wonder what this would have been like without the tuna? well I am looking forward to your next challenge.. c

  9. Parsley Sage
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 08:42:23

    Powerhouse salad. Almost a little too healthy🙂 Love me some lentils though!

  10. Cher
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 08:44:14

    I was the only person in my house that would touch this. It was surprising how the flavors came together.
    P.S. I made the beet salad over the weekend, although I didn’t try any (I really don’t like beets at all). Fortunately, I have two beet eaters in the house… I was more than happy to let them have at it.

  11. Food,Photography & France
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 08:53:58

    Try to only use the skin of the preserved lemons – chuck the pulp away. I agree with Ceciia, leave out the tuna.

  12. FASHBERRIES
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 09:10:19

    great recipe will definitely love to try it

  13. bitsandbreadcrumbs
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 09:18:38

    I can see why you’d shy away from this recipe…it seems like a very strange combo of ingredients. I thought you rallied to the occasion very well, though!🙂

  14. kitchen flavours
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 09:44:39

    You did well in trying out something that you would not think of trying in the first place and to go all out looking for the ingredients, kudos to you!

  15. Quay Po Cooks
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 10:55:24

    If I were to choose? I will choose taste over the look.

  16. loavesandstitches
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 11:01:15

    I think we used the same lentils from Whole Foods. I’m with you about the tapenade. I made it and it was a lot of trouble to go to for two teaspoons! At least it all tasted pretty good together.

  17. Alice
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 11:05:12

    I felt the same way leading up to making it but I didnt like it as much as you seemed to…. LOL!

  18. Krissy
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 12:01:09

    You made me laugh until I have tears in my eyes! I can do the beets, however, olive oil ice cream does not set well in my brain. I might have to cheat! And when we come to seaweed, I might have to fly home my sushi and seaweed loving daughter so someone will eat it even though the seaweed is hidden in cookies…hummmmmm, I’ve been looking for an excuse. This month Dorie stretches me almost to the limit. I need some good laughs. Thanks.

  19. Karen
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 13:34:24

    It is hard to photograph a dish of dark colored ingredient like you did. Good for you for following through with the challenge.

  20. Choc Chip Uru
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 14:26:45

    Wow this is the ultimate detox day food😀
    Nice one!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  21. Ei
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 15:01:44

    I skipped this one, because too many of the ingredients were not pantry staples for me. There’s no way I’d use up preserved lemons before my move. I’ll try this one some other time. Have to skip next week, too, b/c I have no ice cream machine. I’m lame this month. I’m glad that the mustard didn’t bother you in this, but that sure was a lot of running around!

  22. Rose
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 15:34:29

    It’s funny, before joining FFwD I paid only passing attention to how my food looked. Now that the food needs to be photographed I’m noticing how unphotogenic some of my favorite foods actually are. Maybe not having a camera this week wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

  23. Dara
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 15:53:33

    I LOVE lentils. This looks like a very healthy salad.

  24. Norma Chang
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 15:58:05

    You sure are a good sport. I think I would like this dish without the tuna.

  25. Asmita (@FoodieAsmita)
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 17:12:00

    This looks delicious!

  26. Liz
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 18:00:43

    Yes, you are a trooper! I didn’t have high expectations, but this was surprisingly delicious! Enjoy your weekend~

  27. Amy (Savory Moments)
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 19:56:56

    Lentils and tuna? Huh… I never thought of that combination, but I bet it is pretty good!

  28. Ronda
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 20:20:14

    I would have been dubious about that recipe too. I am glad that you liked it.

  29. Kathy
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 20:26:43

    Photogenic it’s not, but very delicious! I’m jealous you found preserved lemons!

  30. Maureen (@OrgasmicChef)
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 23:03:06

    I can’t wait for the beet recipe 🙂 lol

    Preserved lemons are so easy to make I never have to buy them but the lentils, that’s a different story.

    I’d like this salad too.

  31. Heather
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 23:12:58

    Glad you made this one – I on the other hand did not! No one but me would have eating it:(

  32. Cakelaw
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 23:30:01

    I am so glad that you gave this a go – and liked it!I am so glad that you gave this a go – and liked it!

  33. Amanda
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 02:08:37

    I would be with you on this one, way to go for trying it even though you weren’t sure about it. It makes me think I should try it, you know, expand my horizons and such.🙂

  34. Lisa {smart food and fit} (@LisaNutrition)
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 06:12:00

    Sometime the most delicious recipes end up looking not so pretty! I’ll have to give this one a try!

  35. vintagekitchennotes
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 07:40:43

    Kudos for going the extra mile to find the ingredients! I love lentil salads, and you certainly brighten it up with the peppers! Have a good weekend

  36. Simply Life
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 07:46:46

    what a great idea to combine lentils and tuna!

  37. Baker Street (@bakerstreet29)
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 08:36:43

    Wow! Looks so healthy and delicious! Going that extra mile surely paid off.

  38. Ryan
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 12:20:04

    Good for you for plugging away with the recipe despite the ingredients (both unpleasant and hard to find). I probably would have skipped it too but your finished salad sounds healthy and flavorful. I bet the preserved lemons were delicious!

  39. Promenade Claire
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 12:42:13

    I always love the honesty with which you approach these assignments! and well done for taking a good photo – lentils aren’t the most photogenic are they🙂

  40. 21stcenturyhousewife
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 13:34:19

    I must admit the ingredients in this would make me hesitate as well…but your salad certainly looks delicious! Thank you for being so honest about how you felt about it.

  41. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 17:33:25

    I love how often you say you almost skipped this week’s recipe! This looks great to me.

  42. LV Davis (@FoodfashinFlow)
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 19:30:08

    I love how honest you are. Sometimes things that don’t look appealing to the eye are really delicious. Those ingredients, I never would have put together, but I am glad it is tasty. I have made lots of delicious foods that were ugly:-)

  43. Miriam
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 19:34:45

    It’s hard to take pretty pictures of lentils, nicely done🙂, Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  44. Hotly Spiced
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 22:24:48

    Good on you for persevering with something that didn’t inspire you. I can’t believe what a struggle it was just to get the ingredients. I like lentils and tapenade and preserved lemons but I only ever use the lemon skin and only add it after it’s been well rinsed. Maybe the next few recipes will be better! xx

  45. FiSh
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 01:42:42

    awesome! i think some lemon zest would be good for this homemade salad🙂

    Latest: Sinful Breads

  46. muppy
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 05:20:22

    i’m glad you make special trips to find ingredients🙂

  47. atasteofmadess
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 09:18:19

    I’m glad it turned out tasty! I agree, when I read the ingredients, I thought “interesting” rather than “tasty”. But it sure looks good, and I’m kind of intrigued now!

  48. Ameena
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 10:35:39

    I’m surprised at this combination too…but really, the end product does look delicious.

    Hope you are having a great weekend!

  49. Beth
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 14:34:48

    I always enjoy your honest take on the recipes. I must admit this wasn’t one that jumped out at me, but sometimes I’m surprised by something that tastes better than I expected!

  50. Louise
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 20:33:26

    I too appreciate your honesty, Yummy. I’m not sure I would have the courage to attempt such a dish. Kudos to you for going for it and hunting down the ingredients when possible. The ring just doesn’t excite me but I bet it’s healthy!

    Thank you so much for sharing…

  51. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 20:45:41

    Love the brilliant red pepper setting this salad on fire!

  52. cooking-varieties (wan)
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 21:48:53

    hi yummy chunklet, they look good in your well captured pic… this makes feel like trying out this sandwich today…yummy! have a nice day

  53. Kalyan
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 01:20:56

    looks so easy to prepare and delicious…mouthwatering!

  54. machisan
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 04:50:14

    lentil inside the tuna salad, cool i have to try it.

  55. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 05:45:46

    Well done on making this dish even though you didn’t seem to really like it! I would hardly make things I don’t like to eat so I can’t really imagine what you have to go through…I think I should give these cookbook challenges a go as well so I can be out of my comfort zone..

  56. Maddy
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 06:35:47

    Interesting combination. I’m not usually a fan of tuna, but I do love the lentils in the recipe!

  57. Reem | Simply Reem
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 07:27:04

    Healthy and loaded with flavors…
    Beautiful salad!!

  58. mary
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 08:03:53

    love this salad, full of goodness and flavor – I wouldn’t have thought of putting tuna and lentils together – brilliance!
    Mary x

  59. Audrey Allure
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 08:50:53

    I’m glad it turned out alright🙂 I am definitely also one of those people that will eat an ingredient they don’t really care for as long as the taste is pretty well masked lol

  60. Necessity is the Mother of Invention
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 11:57:47

    I had every intention of making this salad, but spring schedules have got the better of me, and alas, even though I had almost all ingredients on hand, I still couldn’t muster the strength! Good for you — persistence.

  61. Anita Menon
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 13:16:15

    very interesting salad. Sometimes the strangest combinations work quite well, it seems

  62. Juliana
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 13:24:20

    Interesting combination…now that I have been implementing lentils I think I would not mind trying this out🙂
    Hope you have a great week ahead!

  63. RebeccaSubbiah RD (@chowandchatter)
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 20:34:50

    good for you for making it look good to me love the idea of tuna and lentils

  64. Jessica Maher (@kbelleicious)
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 21:51:45

    wow! So interesting and daring! Kudos to you! I love this idea

  65. cindyrina
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 22:05:37

    wow! this is one healthy dishes ..we need to try!

  66. Inger Wilkerson
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 23:09:21

    I have so many lentils (I bought a 25 lb bag) that I am excited to have another recipe idea!

  67. FiSh
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 00:17:24

    is this very spicy?🙂 love the lemon zest on the salad bowl

    Latest: The Pork Way to Go

  68. jora
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 16:19:28

    sometimes i think the shopping for this project is the hardest part! i’m impressed by your efforts. i usually just omit ingredients i don’t like (whenever possible) – good for you for trying it with the mustard!

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  70. Elaine
    Jun 16, 2012 @ 09:07:16

    Horse saddle polish?! Oh, wow. That doesn’t make me want to catch up with this recipe. I’m glad you were able to eat it anyway despite the smell and I admire your perseverance in getting the ingredients.

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