This week, the French Fridays with Dorie group is participating in Food Revolution Day, devised by Jamie Oliver to bring people together in the kitchen to share their knowledge and skills and stand up for good, home-cooked food. The Doristas were tasked with cooking any recipe in Around My French Table - an old favorite, a recipe they missed when the group covered it, or something they really wanted to make but the group hasn't gotten to yet - and sharing the dish with somebody.
That's what we were supposed to do. I failed on pretty much every level of this task, though I fully support the message and purpose of Food Revolution Day.
My intentions were pure at the beginning. A friend was coming over with her daughter earlier this week. I figured I could make Lentil, Lemon and Tuna Salad, a recipe I missed during my move to Italy. Frankly, the list of ingredients--canned tuna (chunk, no less! Ew!), preserved lemons, olive tapenade, grainy mustard--alarmed me, so it hadn't taken much to convince me to skip it the first time around. However, in my memory, most of the other Doristas liked it, so I figured I'd give it a shot. However, I ran out of time and didn't get a chance to make this for my friend. Thank God.
I knew, just looking at the ingredients, that Matt would want nothing to do with this recipe. One of his colleagues from Norfolk is in town for the week, so he said he was going to try to take him out tonight. Perfect. I could make the salad for myself and not hear any complaints. I'm aware that deliberately making this for 1 person defeats the purpose of the Food Revolution Day. Sorry.
I don't have de Puy lentils, but I figured red lentils would work. Wrong. They turned to mush in 15 minutes. My bad. I forged ahead with the recipe, even though I was sure that individual grains of lentil were the texture Dorie was going for. I mixed the tapenade, mustard, olive oil, and vinegar together and tasted it. It tasted weird. I added it to the lentils, hoping that it would all work in the end. I chopped up my preserved lemon, which is a product that both fascinates and somewhat horrifies me, and added it, with scallions, to the glop. I flaked in a can of solid tuna. I can't do chunk. It skeeves me out.
I mixed it all together, took a bite, and gagged. It's not often that I have to spit out a bite of food. This one had me running for the trash can. I mean, just look at it:
So, I missed on the sharing food with friends front, I missed on the preparation of good food front, and I missed on the home-cooking front, as we'll probably end up going for pizza tonight. Or eating eggs. Apologies, all around.