Anna: You had to make a special trip to Waitrose to get the cavolo for this. And lovely Kirstin got us the merguez from Drings. So it is a special supper.
Peter: I had to spell ‘cavolo nero’ on the phone to Waitrose and explain what it was in order to find out if they had it. Is there some alternative that you can use if this evasive vegetable isn’t available?
Anna: Normally you can get it from Ocado if it’s in season. But they don’t seem to be selling it at the moment. I usually substitute kale. Which is why we have a big bag of it in the fridge. I forgot to take it off the order. Minestrone next week I think.
Peter:This is a nice autumn supper.
Anna: I agree. It tastes like Christmas to me. I do love merguez, and lentils, and cavolo. But I think we might be having some wind issues tomorrow….
Peter: The forecast is for gusts!
Anna: Mr Stern offers 3 options for this recipe. I chose the one with smoked salmon and bacon as it sounded delicious.
Peter: Cold lentils could taste a lot worse than this.
Anna: Lentils are served cold all the time!
Peter: I haven’t had them before. But these are good.
Anna: Puy lentils. You’ve got to love them.
Peter: I wouldn’t have thought about having bacon and smoked salmon together.
Anna: Did it make it too salty for you?
Peter: No, I like it salty. I could have eaten a bit more… being a salad it’s virtually calorie free surely?
Anna: Well I did up the quantities of salmon and bacon slightly otherwise you may have thought we were just having a starter for dinner. Unfortunately both bacon and smoked salmon aren’t well-known for their low-calorie properties. But it is a carb-free salad. And pretty filling I have to say. I think you would like the version with chipolatas.
Peter: Clearly this is a flexible salad. I like the sound of chipolatas.
Anna: So you would like me to do this again?
Peter: I wouldn’t say no.
Peter: Haven’t we had this before?
Anna: Yes, lots of times. But not for a long while. It started off as one of my dinner party recipes in the old days at the flat. When we were young and entertained alot.
Peter: Ha! Who did we entertain?
Anna: We used to have people round all the time!
Peter: You did have a selection of salmon recipes. And I think most of them were Jamie Oliver.
Anna: Well I always liked this one, so I was keen to try it again, especially as we’ve been doing another recipe that’s virutally the same recently.
Peter: Yes, I got confused. This tasted very similar to whichever one it is that you do now.
Anna: Can you tell the difference?
Anna: The Waitrose recipe has harissa on top of the salmon. And chilli flakes and sauteed onions in the lentils. Rather than prosciutto on the salmon and loadsa herbs in the lentils. Otherwise they both have spinach and yoghurt. I reckon you could merge the two quite easily. I love the salmon with the prosciutto but I prefer the lentils with the onion.
Peter: I like them both. I don’t know which one’s quicker….
Anna: They’re the same really. Especially as I cheated and used tinned lentils tonight. In the old days I made the puy lentils from scratch. No time for that anymore!