35 days in europe and all i got is a bowl full of lentils: apple, red onion and lentil salad

It’s pretty difficult to recap such a tremendous vacation…a very incredible, exciting and best-vacation-ever kind of vacation (35 days worth of photos have been uploaded onto flickr, in case you are interested) into some kind of meaningful post. I’m afraid I can’t do it justice. Cologne was great, as were Brussles and Brugges. Rotterdam was cool to the max and London was uber expensive but wonderful and I was so thankful to discover that all the major galleries and museums were free! We stayed 8 nights in Berlin and had a blast…it was our last stop on our European Vacation® that it was so hard to leave. Foodwise, the butter in Europe is amazing and I wished I could have smuggled over a pound or two…no wonder the babies in Europe seem so creamy! Favorite country? Hands down, Lithuania. Who knew? I mean it’s my fatherland but I wasn’t expecting too much. How wrong I was. The food was of the hearty peasant variety and I loved almost everything I put into my mouth. Really, how can you go wrong with bacon, sour cream, meaty dumplings, potato pancakes, and well, more bacon? Actually, not all the food we ate was traditional…we had some pretty wonderful international fare too. If I fell in love with a country on this trip, it was Lithuania that stole my heart. The photo above? From a bridge in the capital city of Lithuania, in the arty ‘hood of Uzupis, where young lovers lock padlocks on the bridge and throw away the key into the river below as a symbol of their undying love. Romantic, no?

Now, with that teeny-tiny recap, it’s on to the present. Well, last weekend to be exact. On Saturday I whipped together this plain ol’ lentil salad to take over to a friend’s house. Based on the recipe, I knew it would be good, but I didn’t think it would be over-the-top wow. I was wrong. This is the kind of salad that I could eat for days on end and not get sick of. I made a few changes from Clotide’s recipe, choosing to use canned lentils to save time and adding in some red onion and red peppers for extra crunch. Don’t forget to add the red onion as it works so well with the crunch of the tart Granny Smith. All my friends raved. Enjoy!

14 comments to “35 days in europe and all i got is a bowl full of lentils: apple, red onion and lentil salad”

  1. 1
    Joanne   October 10, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing your fabulous trip with us! Europe is so great! Every country is so distinct and adds to the uniqueness of the vacation experience. I can’t believe that there is a ‘devil museum’ in Lithuania…fascinating!

    I, too, found the dairy in Europe to be outta this world. I think it has something to do with the pasturization process (so I’m told). While vacationing in Greece – there were times I would skip dinner and just have ice-cream. I’m not talking about regular ol’ ice-cream – this stuff was made for the Gods 😀

    Anyway, onto the lentils. You know, it has never ever occurred to me to add apples to a lentil salad and believe me when I say – I eat lentils a LOT – especially as a salad. This one is a must try!!

    Hurray! – Kickpleat is back!!

  2. 2
    Kristin   October 11, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    I love the locks, so sweet!

    I have to try that salad, I ate leftover lentil salad all week this week and now I may do the same this week. I’ll eat apples in anything this time of year.

  3. 3
    Sara   October 11, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Salad looks great. I have trouble cooking lentils, but I have never tried canned before. Thanks for posting your vacation pictures, it looks like you guys had a super time. I love the picture of you in the shoe!

  4. 4
    VeggieGirl   October 12, 2007 at 8:09 am

    your trip sounds even MORE incredible than I thought – I love Europe, and can’t wait to go back :0)

    my goodness, that lentil-salad sounds quite scrumptious :0)

  5. 5
    kickpleat   October 12, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    joanne, the devil museum in kaunas was pretty awesome….and hey, so were all the countries we visited! oooh, that dairy was incredible. yum.

    kristin, me too, i’m apple-smitten! definitely give this salad a try. it’s so good.

    sara, i can’t believe you’ve never tried canned lentils! they are a godsend. truely. haha, me in the shoe was awesome!!

    thanks veggiegirl, it was an amazing trip and i can’t wait to go back and explore more.

  6. 6
    Monika K   October 13, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Wow – what a fantastic trip! I traveled all over Belgium too and loved it (how can you not like a country whose national foods are chocolate, beer, waffles and french fries?). The locks in Lithuania are an awesome idea and sound like the perfect way to end a wedding – with the dramatic throwing of the key into a river.

    I’ve never been to Lithuania or tried the apple-lentil combo so it looks like I still have a few more adventures ahead of me…(-:

  7. 7
    Tanya   October 16, 2007 at 4:24 am

    i’m glad you’re back…I did miss reading your blog! However, I know that it is hard to get back to normal froman awesome trip lilke yours!
    I miss the butter, yogurt, cheese….even the breads and crackers were so much better in Europe!

    The apple lentil salad recipe looks quite yummy. I will have to try that soon! Welcome back!

  8. 8
    kickpleat   October 16, 2007 at 11:56 am

    monika, i loved belgium….and agree about it’s foods (and beers). amazing! when it comes to food and travel, adventures are the only way to go!

    thanks tanya! it is really hard to get back into the swing of things after a long vacation. especially the blog writing….soon i hope i’ll be writing more frequently once again!

  9. 9
    Tanya   October 16, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    how do you think this recipe would taste with soybeans?

  10. 10
    eatme_delicious   October 16, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    welcome back! 🙂

    i’m not a huge fan of lentils yet, but i’m always looking for ways to incorporate more healthy things into my diet. since you said you could eat it for days on end, it convinced me that i must add it to my list.

  11. 11
    Rachael M.   October 18, 2007 at 9:02 am

    I totally could not find canned lentils in any of my grocery stores, so I set out to cook my own. The results were terribly disappointing, but not enough to keep me from wanting to try again, as the dressing mixed with the apple, pepper and onion dices was absolutely heavenly. It was just my gross beans that made it not work.

    Any suggestions for other types of beans to use? I wondered if maybe garbanzos would be suitable?

  12. 12
    bowiechick   October 18, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Many thanks! I made this last night and was delighted at how quick and simple it was. It’s got some bite too ! Yumm.

  13. 13
    kickpleat   October 18, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    tanya, i think this would be great with soybeans or chickpeas!

    eatme, definitely add this one to your list. it’s that good!

    rachel, did you use green or black lentils or the red ones? the red ones would be way too mushy. but if you are looking for another bean, definitely give chickpeas a try…i’m sure it would be delicious.

    bowiechick, glad you liked it!

  14. 14
    Terri   October 21, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    I made this salad today and it was as good as everyone indicated. I used a yellow delicious apple because that’s what I had on hand. I liked the sweet crunch. I’m taking this to work tomorrow for a great lunch. Thanks!

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