It's not even half way through September, the sun is still shining and there are some great salad-friendly vegetables and fruits in season. Tempting and all as it is to sprint straight into full-on comfort food style recipes, I am not ready to say good bye to salads just yet. Actually I think it's more accurate to say that I'm a salad all-year-round type of person so salad recipes aren't going anywhere. For lunch, I made this Pear, Goat's Cheese & Green Lentil Salad. Pear because they are at their best at this time of year. Delicious soft goat's cheese because I popped some in my shopping basket this morning and green lentils, because I wanted something satisfying to bring this salad from a side to a main dish. Lentils and quinoa are my go-to ingredients for doing this.
Before I get to the recipe, I want to talk about an event I was part of yesterday. I gave a Food Photography and Styling Workshop in the Grow HQ in Waterford along with Caroline Hennessy of Bibliocook, Sinead Delahunty of Delalicious and Sarah Kim Watchorn. If you came along - thank you and thank you to the team at Grow HQ for inviting me to speak. If you love great recipes and beautiful photos, the next thing you have to do is to follow Caroline, Sinead and Sarah on Instagram. It was so cool to meet them and I loved every second of the afternoon. While I listened to everyone chatting food and food photography, I just wanted to get home and put all we talked about into practice. Cue resolution to show my own images a little more loves. That means working on my food styling and getting to proper grips with Lightroom.
This couldn't have come at a better time. For the last little while, I've had this nagging feeling that when it comes to The Honest Project, I am too conscious of what other people are doing and that it's having a negative impact on my creativity. Sounds totally naff, right? But in the creative world, it must be one of the biggest mistake we can make. Yesterday I spoke about the importance of writting your own story and this is something I'm always banging on about with my clients. It's about embracing your own story, savouring all that's good with you and not trying to be something you are not. September is a pretty good time to embrace this and a good way to start is to look at what inspires you at any given time. I don't mean scrolling throug Instagram and finding an account you love and trying to recreate similar content. I mean looking for inspiration outside of social media. Whether it's a memory, a place you love to visit, your own home, a song, a person. Find that inspiration and harness it to create something that is truly your own.
So with that in mind, for today's post I thought of what Caroline, Sinead and Sarah spoke about yesterday and that was my inspiration. Simple food using seasonal ingredients and giving ourselves time to to play around with how the food looks on the plate and with photographing it and editing it.
Keep scrolling for my Autumn Pear, Goat's Cheese & Green Lentil Salad. And if you want a step-by-step chat through on how to make it, pop over to my Instagram account where I've saved it as a highlight.
Pear, Goat's Cheese & Green Lentil Salad
1/3 cup green lentils uncooked
2 large handfuls of mixed salad leaves
100g soft goat's cheese
10-12 pecan nuts
Small amount of mixed herbs
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Start with cooking the lentils. Place the lentils in a medium size saucepan with a cup of boiling water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the lentils are just past al dente. Drain them using a sieve and rinse them with cold water to stop them cooking.
To make the dressing, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey together and season with a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt. Mix well to combine.
Spoon half the dressing over the lentils and stir.
To assemble the salad, place the leaves in a bowl. Dollop the lentils around the leaves. Place the slices of pear evenly around the leaves. Roughly cut the goat's cheese into small pieces and place them on top of the leaves. Drizzle with the remianing dressing and add the pecan nuts and chopped herbs.