I’m going to add a new category to my food menu and call it “Jet Lag Dinners,” with this being one of the first entries. As anyone who’s experienced the crash-bang, where-am-I of jet lag knows, being thrown into another time zone and place doesn’t just mean your body clock is off, your entire sense of what to do from the moment you wake up (in my case, around noon in Paris) to the time that you finally fall asleep is completely off-kilter.
Sure, there are enough waking hours for my addled brain to actually work and produce, say, at least one or two of the four stories that are due right now, but when I manage to sit down at the computer, I don’t do much more than check email and see what’s been posted on Pinterest. Well, that and try to connect to the Masterpiece Theatre website to watch the latest episode of “Downton Abbey,” which so far has been unsuccessful.
What is up with Mr. Bates?!
I’ve been far more productive in the kitchen, however, which is one of the ways I ground myself wherever I happen to be. If pots are on the stove and the oven is on and I’m somewhere nearby, chopping something, I feel at home again, whether I’m in Dallas or Paris or at my mom’s house in the country outside of Denton where I grew up.
Now I’m back in Paris, and I’m happy to report that my favorite wild arugula – delicate, wispy stuff — is available at the stinky stinky Franprix, which I added to the top of a bowl of lentils the other night, along with a poached egg. Some crumbled feta (I like the stuff in oil with herbes de Provence in jars the best) and a splash of balsamic vinegar, and that was that.
A perfectly Parisian dinner for a cold winter’s night, whether you’re jet lagged or not.
Lentils du Puy with Poached Egg
Makes 2 servings
- 3 cups cooked lentils du Puy (recipe here)
- sea salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 big handfuls of arugula (get the wild stuff if you’re in France)
- some crumbled feta
- balsamic vinegar, for serving (optional)
1. Warm up your lentils in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2. Fill another smallish saucepan with water and a big pinch of sea salt and turn the heat to high. When it boils, turn it down to a simmer. Now, crack each one of your eggs in small bowls (use one for each egg) and gently lower them into the water, pouring the egg ever so gently into the salty water bath. Set your timer for two minutes, and lay a couple of paper towels on top of a small plate. When the buzzer goes off, use a deep spoon to retrieve each of your eggs from the water, and lay them on the paper towels to drain for just a few seconds while you get your lentils ready.
3. Divide the lentils between two shallow soup bowls, top with a handful of the arugula for each one, sprinkle some feta, and add an egg to the top. Eat it right away, while the yolk’s runny and the lentils are warm. I like to splash mine with a little balsamic vinegar, too.