Lemony French dinner is mine

Dinner preparations were a bit haphazard tonight as I got home late and encountered some issues that needed to be dealt with when I finally arrived. Likewise my photos are haphazard. Nonetheless, I worked out a theme for the meal and it turned out pretty awesome. The theme was French. That’s because yesterday I found some French beans at Wegmans and revolved the meal around them. What I did was basically throw things together and ask myself what flavors seemed French to me, which isn’t easy because I’m not well versed in French cuisine as it’s not known for being particularly vegan-friendly. I’d also bought a bag of lemons yesterday because, well, I love lemons. They’re on my list of Things About Which I Freak Out if I’m Not Well-Stocked With. Garlic’s number one and onions are a close number two, but I think lemons may be number three. Anyway, right now I have PLENTY of garlic, onions, and lemons, so I found myself wondering what sorts of things seemed French and lemony. And here’s what I came up with:

Lemon-Dijon Roasted Potatoes

2 lbs red potatoes, chopped into even but chunky pieces
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves pressed garlic
1 tsp flaked sea salt, like Maldon
freshly ground pepper to taste
fresh herbs, to taste (I used rosemary and thyme)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wash and chop the potatoes. How large you chop them will determine how quickly they bake.

Place the mustard, oil, lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper into a small bowl.

Whisk together.

Place the potatoes on a baking tray or dish on which they will fit in one layer. Pour the sauce over them.

Coat the potatoes with the sauce by tossing them around in your (clean!) hands. Place in the oven and cook for half and hour. Remove and add the fresh herbs:

Herbs from my indoor herb garden that I haven’t yet killed!

Return to oven and roast and additional 10 minutes or until done.


Lemony Garlic French Beans

1/2 lb French beans, trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp shallot salt

Blanch the beans in salted, boiling water for 3 minutes.

Brush or spray a large skillet with olive oil. Add garlic and lemon zest, stir for 20 seconds. Add the beans and stir.

Pour 1/4 cup water into the skillet, as well as the lemon juice and shallot salt; stir to mix. Cover, reduce heat, and steam for 5 minutes.


Basic Lentils

I know I was going for a vaguely French theme here and I do in fact have French lentils, but honestly, I love your plain ole, every day brown lentils more than any other and that’s what I’ve used here. I could eat them every day.

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups dry green or brown lentils
4 cups vegan stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp shallot salt

In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring some oil (you need very little) up to temperature, then add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the lentils and stock; bring to a boil. Add the thyme and shallot salt, adjusting the amounts to suit your tastes. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.

To serve, dress the lentils generously with fresh-squeezed lemon (I used 1/2 a lemon on my portion alone).

To be enjoyed with red wine and followed with dark chocolate. Trés français! If only I’d managed to incorporate a grapefruit so I could throw around my favorite French word. (Though I’m also fond of bibliothèque.)

Now for an explanation of tonight’s post’s title. If you’ve read my about page, you’ll know that part of the reason for the name of this blog comes from Invader Zim. I don’t remember the episode, but in one of them, Zim shrieks, “sweet, lemony-fresh victory is mine!”, which is something I have taken to shouting when things go my way. Dinner tonight did go my way, and it was lemony fresh. I have no idea how French it actually was.

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