We are sometimes accused of having world-class leftovers in our fridge. While there may be some truth in that, I can assure you that those leftovers — in their natural habitat — look anything but “world-class”. For example, here are some leftover black beans, lentils in broth, white beans in broth, cooked toasted rye berries, and half of a purple daikon radish. Hardly the stuff “dreams are made of”. They were in the refrigerator this morning as I began to play around in the kitchen.
My first order of business was to make vegan sausage, just because I had some Vital Wheat Gluten and Nutritional Yeast, two components of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe which I had made once before. It took about an hour to make the mix, steam the sausages, and chill them for use. In the meantime, I had just read an article in the NY Times online about Gascony, and I was getting hungry. Based on the article, I was in a duck fat, Southwestern France frame of mind, but also thinking vegan, so I started looking up recipes for what I could do with the unlikely combination of lentils, beans, sausage, and rye berries. A few recipes caught my eye, but especially this one: Wheat Berry and Lentil Salad, so I adapted it to what I had, and the results were marvelous.
I sliced up one of the sausages and sautéed it in a cast iron skillet. Serving the sausage with some whole-grained mustard, I ate the salad and sausage, while drinking a Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvée GSM blend, and I was transported to Gascony — without any duck fat but with some of the flavors I imagined.