Fortunately we still had mint in the garden bed, not a lot, but enough for this delicious salad. We have made many beet salads here of late, but when you cook with what is in season you will have repeated ingredients, but there is no reason to have repeated recipes. And I am very happy I made this salad.
This is my first lentil salad, but it will not be my last. I was a bit nervous cooking the lentils to get them just right, cooked but not mushy, and I am proud to say it is fairly easy. I did a couple of taste tests along the way, about 4 minutes apart and took them off the heat at that "they could use another minute" stage, knowing they would soften a bit when cooling.
If you like beets and/or lentils, I hope you give this salad a try, it really is so good. It is also perfect as a light supper or a meat-less entree if desired. This is adapted from a recipe found in Urban Pantry - tips & recipes for a thrifty, sustainable and seasonal kitchen. I had picked this book up, along with many others from our visit to the library last week. I upped the flavor with additional vinaigrette as the salad seemed a bit dry for my tastes and made a change in how the onions were presented, but the overall salad is right out of the book.
|Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad with Mint Dijon Vinaigrette|
adapted from: Urban Pantry - tips & recipes for a thrifty, sustainable and seasonal kitchen
3 medium beets, scrubbed and cooked until tender, you may cook on the stove or roast in the oven. Note: this can be completed ahead, refrigerate after slipping the skins. When ready to assemble the salad, dice the beets.
|Oven roasted beets are very tender and sweet in this salad.|
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 c black lentils (you will want these lentils for a salad, they are firmer and do not mush up as easily)
1 t salt
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 t salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 c thinly sliced mint leaves
1/2 c feta cheese
Slice 4 1/4 inch slices from the center of the onion, set aside.
Combine the leftover onion piece (saving the other half for another use), 2 cloves garlic, bay leaf, salt, lentils and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes until tender. Very important, do not over cook, you want firm lentils.
When lentils are tender, drain in a fine mesh sieve. Find and reserve the garlic cloves, to be used in the vinaigrette.
|Blanch the onion in hot oil, to soften the flavor and raw crunch for this salad.|
When the oil has cooled, add the remaining ingredients, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and the sliced mint leaves. Mash the reserved garlic and stir into the vinaigrette.
Remove the cooked onion and bay leaf from the cooked lentils, and place in a large bowl, add the reserved beets and feta cheese. Pour the vinaigrette over the lentils and beets, gently combine. Taste and adjust final seasoning if desired. Refrigerate until serving time. Let come to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, stir gently and serve.
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souper sundays @ kahakai kitchen