Ahh, 3 days of cooking. I had some hits, a couple misses, and am still working on my entry for the recipe contest. You guys gave me some good ideas in the comments, but I am keeping things hush hush for now. You know, I need to watch out for those Internet spies….
This original recipe had over 20 ingredients, and 5 paragraphs of directions. Now some final dishes warrant this kind of effort, but I think beets and lentils should be much lower maintenance. So I modified this recipe significantly, and it’s much more of the ‘peasant’ dish now. In fact, you should not even bother to roast vegetables specifically for this dish, but take advantage of some that you might have leftover.
I served the lentil salad over some torn Romaine lettuce, and it was a very nice lunch. The flavor was earthy, but in a good way. Note that the lentils I used here are not the standard grocery store kind, but the French variety I bought at Whole Foods. I used them before to make a different lentil salad. They hold their shape much better in salads such as these. If all of this seems too daunting, just remember the simplest formula: roasted veggies + beans + oil + vinegar = good.
4-5 beets, any dark spots removed
6 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1″ pieces
1 t sugar
1 T olive oil
3/4 c. black lentils
3 c. water
1 bay leaf
1 t minced garlic
1 small onion
2 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T lemon juice
Set beets in a baking dish. Mix carrots, sugar, and olive oil in another baking dish. Roast vegetables at 400F. The carrots will take about 30 minutes, and the beets should be fork tender in 60-90 minutes. Allow beets to cool, and then remove skin and slice into 1″ pieces.
Meanwhile, place lentils, water, bay leaf, garlic, and onion in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are softened. Drain, and remove onion and bay leaf.
Mix lentils, beets, and carrots in a large bowl. Add oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper.