Appetizers, Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

Greek Kale Salad

July is the time of year when I go in for my yearly physical. This year, the results came back fine and dandy as usual, except for one tiny thing — I have a slight iron deficiency. Of course, that's very minor in the spectrum of problems a doctor can phone you about, but it's also a little crushing to not get the same  "everything looks great! keep doing what you're doing!" remark from years past.

"Eat more lean red meat," I was told. "Or more dark leafy greens."

It's great to have a legitimate excuse to go find out and find a nice juicy steak or burger, stat! But really, I definitely would not be able to keep doing that every day to meet my iron requirement. This is where the kale comes in.

Recipes, Soup, Vegetarian

Greek Lentil Soup

Even though the weather has been getting warmer lately, there are still days when I crave a nice bowl of lentil soup for lunch. Especially if it’s a lentil soup that conjures up the Mediterranean sun and the seaside.

This Greek lentil soup (Faki) comes from The Essential New York Times Cookbook, which has a recipe revised from one that reader and Greek cookbook author Vilma Liacouras had sent in to the paper in 1977. I don’t think I had ever tried lentil soup Greek-style before, but wow, am I hooked now. It may become my go-to lentil soup. In the beginning of the cooking process, it may seem like your ordinary tomato-lentil soup, but the magic comes towards the end. You toss in plenty of parsley, mint, and basil. Then you stir in a generous amount of good olive oil. And finally, you add some red wine vinegar; that extra bit of acidity really brings the lentils to a whole new level.