Beetroot, lentil and mint salad

Beetroot is one of the best vegetables there is. No question. It’s great roasted, raw, blended into soup, pickled, however you cook it is tastes brilliant. AND it has a seemingly unnatural, bright colour (see also sweet potatoes and blackcurrants), something I enjoy in a foodstuff when it does in fact occur naturally. Think the beetroot couldn’t give any more? It’s good for you too. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, potatoes. (And I won’t hear a peep against it from sweet root haters – yes, I’m looking at you).

So er, I like beetroots, and used them to concoct this delicious salad for a recent picnic. I say concoct, what I actually mean is nick a Riverford recipe and change it slightly, but whatevs, ideas are for sharing, innit. I decided to omit the nuggets of feta to allow for the cheese feast in the rest of the picnic, though if you were making it for a normal meal, the feta would be a welcome addition.

I also beefed up the lentil quantity to create more of a lentil base to the whole affair, as opposed to some token pulses. Combined with sweet beets, fresh, punchy mint and tangy onions and vinegar, it made a fine, summery accompaniment to some cold meats and cheese.

And what’s a salad of this sort without a good glug of chilli oil? A shit salad, that’s what.

Recipe after the jump…

Ingredients (serves 2-4, depending how much other picnic goods you have)

A bunch of raw beetroots

1 tablespoon of chopped mint

1 red onion finely sliced (I used a white one because I didn’t have a red one, so that will do)

100g dried green lentils or a tin of cooked ones

1 teaspoon of sugar

2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1-2 tablespoons of chilli oil

Salt/pepper

Directions

Peel and cube the beetroot, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 200c until tender for about 30mins.

Meanwhile, if using dried, boil the lentils for around the same time according to packet instructions. Drain, rinse.

While beetroot and lentils are cooking, mix together the sugar and vinegar in a large bowl and toss the onions through to coat. Set aside for 30mins.

After said 30mins, add the beetroot and lentils to the onions with chilli oil and mint and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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2 Responses to “Beetroot, lentil and mint salad”

  1. The Grubworm Says:

    Damn that’s a colourful salad (and one in the eye for those who claim salads are boring). It looks stunning and, i suspect, tastes damn good too. Beetroot lends itself to so many different dishes with its sweet earthy flavour. I shall be making very soon as this also looks like ideal packed lunch fare.

    • laurafleur Says:

      It is indeed a good packed lunch, and the lentils are really filling, so you won’t find yourself kicking the vending machine in the hope that some crisps fall out by mid-afternoon!

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