Winner of Your Best Recipe with Beans

March  4, 2015

Congratulations to gingerroot, whose Lentil and Basmati Salad with Tamarind, Coconut, and Cilantro won the contest for Your Best Recipe with Beans!

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
I was fortunate to grow up learning that food is synonymous with family. My two grandmothers expressed love through cooking and feeding their family and friends, and some of my best childhood memories happened around a dining table. Food was also fun -- as the oldest of four, I remember having pizza-making contests with my dad. The kids would choose a dough and sauce recipe, along with all of our own toppings, while my dad chose his own. Cooking with my siblings remains one of my favorite things to do when we are together.

Shop the Story

Gingerroot and her daughter   Gingerroot's son making cranberry sauce
Left: Gingerroot with her daughter; Right: Gingerroot's son making cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving

What's your least favorite kitchen task?
It's a tie between washing greens for a salad and emptying the dishwasher.

What's your favorite kitchen tool?
I have many, but I really love my salad spinner. I know it is easy to wash and dry salad greens by hand, but sometimes I just want it done, and a salad spinner makes it an easy task to delegate to a small child.

Moroccan Eggs

What is your idea of comfort food?
While I could live on spicy brothy noodle soup; when it comes to comfort, nothing beats some combination of eggs, greens, and a good starch. The addition of salty cured meat is a bonus.

What is your greatest kitchen disaster?
Luckily, I tend to collect a number of little kitchen disasters rather than any great ones. One that comes to mind happened in my early teen years when I was babysitting my younger siblings. Our microwave was installed above our counters, which meant that in order to use it, we often hopped up on the counter to reach it. Somehow, my younger brother managed to kick in our oven door as he hopped down and the glass shattered everywhere. Okay, maybe that qualifies as a bigger than little kitchen disaster.

Photos of salad by Mark Weinberg; Photo of egg with beet greens by James Ransom; All other photos provided by gingerroot

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • cookinginvictoria
  • inpatskitchen
  • hardlikearmour
  • Mom 2_3
    Mom 2_3
  • susan g
    susan g
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


cookinginvictoria March 5, 2015
Congratulations, Jenny! This recipe is a winner -- I made it Monday night for dinner, and we all loved it. Great interview and so wonderful to see photos of your kids. P.S. I delegate salad spinning to my nine year old daughter too. :)
inpatskitchen March 5, 2015
Congratulations on your win gingerroot!
hardlikearmour March 4, 2015
Congratulations! Your kids are adorable :-)
gingerroot March 5, 2015
Thank you, hla!! xx
Mom 2. March 4, 2015
Looks like a great recipe, but, maybe the contest should have been called Your Best Recipe with Legumes? Lentils are not beans....
susan G. March 4, 2015
I loved testing this recipe for the contest, and I thoroughly enjoyed eating it! I had saved it when it was recently posted; now I'm happy that I had this reminder. I won't forget it now.
gingerroot March 5, 2015
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Susan!
Panfusine March 4, 2015
Congratulations Gingerroot, WEll deserved. Looking forward to making this soon. My son is gonna love this!
gingerroot March 5, 2015
Thanks so much, Panfusine!
aargersi March 4, 2015
Whoop! Yay Jenny! I really need to make this SOON!
gingerroot March 5, 2015
Thanks, a!! I hope you enjoy it! xo
drbabs March 4, 2015
Congratulations, Jenny!
gingerroot March 5, 2015
Thanks so much, Dr. B! xo
Kukla March 4, 2015
Congratulations, so well deserved!
gingerroot March 5, 2015
Thank you, Kukla!