Oh H E L L O! It’s been a while… almost a month to be exact! But as sorry as the kind heart in me wants to be, I have to say I’m rightfully not because well.. I was busy.. having too much FUN, living life, in Italy, with my husband and my best friend! It was the most magnificent trip and we already cannot WAIT to go back again in a few years to re-live it all! This Harvest Lentil Salad with Artichokes and Hazelnut crusted Goat cheese was totally inspired by one of my favourite and most memorable lunch spots located in Positano in picturesque Amalfi Coast. Casa e Bottega swooned us everyday with it’s airy yet cozy, nautical themed, casual atmosphere. Thank goodness for there post-hike green & detoxifying juices and farm-fresh, locally sourced menu which when selected is prepared right in front of your eyes! Everything was SO DELICIOUS and inspiring! This one’s for you Tanina!
Jordan and I had been travelling for 2 weeks, visiting a number of Italy’s most iconic cities and literally walking and discovering the beauty of it all on foot. I swear there wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t say to each other… “thank goodness we are so healthy and in good shape to be able to walk basically the entire day and experience feeling the way we do”. We averaged approximately 28,000 steps a day… with a record breaker in Florence when we travelled around from morning to night setting the bar high at 30 kilometres! It was crazy! What was even crazier was the more I ate the more I LOST weight! Seriously! I indulged everyday in foods l don’t typically eat on a day to day basis. Foods like freshly baked bread (always with olive oil DUH!), pasta pasta and more PASTA! Specialty homemade pastries, the most delicious fire-oven pizza (usually going for the classic Margherita because REAL buffalo milk mozzarella sadly doesn’t exist here and damn was it to die for!) And of course babe and I always made room after our late night dinners for our 3 euro, double scoop gelato!
Arriving in Positano was something words cannot explain. It is literally my epitome of heaven. Everything from the mountainous cliffsides, to the painted traditional-style homes perched in the middle of them with there own gardens and an ocean view unlike no other. I could go on and on forever but for now I will just say that this sweet lunch spot was a real gem and definitely offset our vacation as we were starting to crave eating fresh juice and a green salad! The beet, ginger, and lemon juice has already inspired me to whip out my dusty (yet beautiful, brand-new) juicer and make some of my own.
Babe was too sweet and surprised me by purchasing “Tanina’s Kitchen Diary Cookbook” (Tanina being the owner of Casa e Bottage) on our last visit to lunch while in Positano and inside is some of Tanina’s favourite recipes, including a similar version of this Harvest Lentil Salad with Artichokes and Hazelnut crusted Goat cheese salad. With a few tweeks here and there I created a version using ingredients I had on hand and of course ones I love the most. Including both green and red lentils, carrots, celery, tomato, artichokes, soft & creamy goat cheese crusted in raw hazelnut and a simple yet delicious olive oil and lemon dressing.
This harvest salad can be enjoyed as a smaller side dish or portioned into 6 mains for yourself to eat throughout the week. Feel free to add any extra protein and/or vegetables you have on hand like radishes, fresh fennel, green onions etc. There are no rules with this one! Just a willingness to share as it is definitely a crowd pleaser for guests.
It’s great to be back! Happy Thursday Everyone!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Let me know if you try this recipe! I’d love to see it and share it!” Tag me on IG @thenaturallynatalie or hashtag #thenaturallynatalie