Top | Vegetarian Main Dishes

Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)


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Introduction

This composed salad makes a complete meal; serve it with a hearty whole-grain bread and a glass of wine. It's good warm, at room temperature, or even cold. You can serve it on individual plates or on one large platter. Leftovers make a delicious lunch, upping a notch the usual brown-bag affair.

Ingredients

    Beets
    1. 5 medium beets
    2. ½ red onion, peeled and sliced
    3. Extra-virgin olive oil
    4. Kosher salt
    Lentils
    1. Extra-virgin olive oil
    2. ½ red onion, peeled and chopped
    3. 1 plump garlic clove, chopped
    4. 1½ cups lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
    5. Kosher salt
    Vinaigrette
    1. 1 garlic clove
    2. Big pinch of kosher salt
    3. 2 Tbsp. toasted walnuts
    4. 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
    5. 4 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
    6. ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    7. Freshly ground black pepper
    For the salad
    1. 4 to 6 cups arugula or mixed salad greens, washed and dried
    2. 4 oz. goat cheese
    3. 1 cup walnuts, toasted

    Steps

    1. Cook the beets: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and peel the beets, then cut them into wedges. In a large roasting pan, toss the beets and the sliced onion with enough olive oil to coat them. Sprinkle with salt. Cook for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring with a spatula halfway through, until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife or fork. Remove from the oven and set aside.
    2. Cook the lentils: While the beets are cooking, prepare the lentils. Into a large saucepan, pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Over medium heat, sauté the chopped onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir for 1 minute, then add the rinsed and drained lentils and enough water to cover the lentils by about an inch. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, add a big pinch of salt and cook 25 to 35 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Drain any remaining liquid with a strainer (the liquid can be saved and added to soup).
    3. Prepare the vinaigrette: In either a suribachi or a large mortar, place the garlic, pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons walnuts. Mash into a paste. Add the Dijon mustard and vinegar, and whisk until smooth. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking all the while, until the full amount is incorporated. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
    4. Assemble the salad: Toss the cooked lentils with about two-thirds of the vinaigrette. Stir until well mixed, and season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, divide the dressed lentils, roasted beets, fresh greens, and goat cheese onto individual plates or a single serving platter. Drizzle the extra vinaigrette over the greens if desired (or serve the extra dressing on the side) and scatter the 1 cup toasted walnuts over the entire salad.