The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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Hasselbrink_3J5A5546-2After many years in San Francisco, I have just moved to Portland, Oregon! I am thrilled to be here. I was so ready to shift away from an intensely urban life, I missed the rain desperately, and I am excited to live somewhere that is not dominated by the side effects of the tech economy.


I am so happy to be here. I know that I’ll miss my people, the unbelievable produce, (the fog), and that spicy, rosy-hued mythology that colors California, but being here just feels good. It feels calmer, and mellower, and of course, a million times more green, and I am beyond ready for this shift.

While change can be incredibly chaotic and disorienting, I love how it calls into question habits, patterns, necessities, luxuries. It is amazing to take a look at my life with a shaken-up perspective, and for all the upheaval of moving, I am honestly pretty stoked to be walking headlong into this period of change.


Cooking is one of the rituals that seems to anchor me most in the midst of upheaval. Because it’s impossible to stay indoors on a warm evening, my friends who are hosting me in the short-term invited some of their friends over for dinner, and we feasted in their backyard, on grilled salmon and this delightful lentil salad. I am a believer in salads that encompass all of the food groups, thereby offering something of a complete meal.


And between the earthiness of the lentils, the tart-sweet of the pluots, creamy salty good of the feta, and the sweet nuttiness of the hazelnuts, this just might be my new fave.

Like I said above, it is the marriage of so many flavors that makes this salad so vibrant: it is earthy, sweet, tart, crunchy, salty, and savory. If you can’t find pluots at the market, try a combination of tart plums and nectarines or peaches. Any stone fruit will work! But I happen to especially love the firmness and tartness of pluots or any other fun stone fruit hybrid: apriums, plumcots, etc.


Summer Pluot + Lentil Salad

For the lentils: 

1 cup green or puy lentils, rinsed

Optional aromatics: 1 carrot, roughly chopped; 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped; 1 onion, halved; a few smashed garlic cloves; thyme or parsley leaves; 1 bay leaf.

For the salad:

8-10 cups mixed salad greens, washed and dried

2-3 stone pluots and plums, thinly sliced lengthwise

1/2 cup crumbled French feta

1/2 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts

Torn fresh basil leaves, optional

For the dressing:

6 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon honey

Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

First, make the lentils. Rinse thoroughly and remove any tiny stones. In a large pot, add the lentils and aromatics of choice, and cover by about two inches with water. Bring to a boil, covered, and reduce heat to low, simmering until lentils are soft and cooked through, about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool in their liquid, then drain thoroughly in a colander. Season to taste with salt.

When the lentils have cooled, measure out about 1.5 cups of the lentils, and reserve the rest for future use. (More salads! In a scramble! In a soup!)

In a large mixing bowl, toss together the lentils, salad greens, sliced pluots and plums, feta, hazelnuts, and basil with the salad dressing. Serve immediately.

This post was created in partnership with the Canadian Lentil Board! As a lentil lover, it was a fun opportunity to create a new recipe with one of my favorite sources of protein. Projects like these sustain me as a freelancer. Thank you for your support! 

  • jade bridge - The photos you taken are very elegant.ReplyCancel

  • Jilee - Welcome to Portland! I’m a local too and so pleased to have you in the area. Excited to see what you do with our local Willamette Valley produce. It is sure to impress!ReplyCancel

  • Dede H. - Welcome to Portland. We have awesome produce, too! It’s exciting to start a new chapter. I hope you’re happy with yur move and I’m looking forward to reading your posts from your new home.ReplyCancel

  • Anya - Congratulations on your move, Kimberley! I’ve still never been to Portland, but it’s been my dream to visit for a while. These photos are so breathtaking, I can feel that sweet, warm summer evening you speak of in them so well.ReplyCancel

  • Walt - What an exceptional post of photos with amazing color & vibrancy! Your photos and narratives really grasp your recipes & travels. Congrats on your move!ReplyCancel

  • Shelley - What a stunning salad and a beautiful table! Welcome to Portland, and good luck settling in!ReplyCancel

  • Raunak - So fun! This place looks dreamy. Thanks for sharing!

  • Phoebe @ Feed Me Phoebe - Congrats Kimberly! I was just in Portland for the weekend and fell in love. We did a week long road trip in Oregon and it’s seriously the most gorgeous state (sorry, cali). so much local flavor. and if you go to the coast, you’ll get your fog fix too :) Good luck! xoxReplyCancel

  • Shanna - These photos! I can’t get over how dreamy they are! Congrats on the new chapter ahead.ReplyCancel

  • Erica - We were in Portland a few months ago to take in the hiking. After 16 years in Socal (military) we will be moving there for school. Very Excited! Its so hot right now. This salad will be my go to on Sunday.ReplyCancel

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