This is my 200th post! 1…2…woop woop <– bonus points if you can tell me the second reason why this link relevant ;)
I went back to (temporary) full time work last week. I forgot how exhausting and mind-consuming working is. I came home each night and just about went from front door to couch. After such a long time off, my brain can still handle working in office environment (phew) but apparently that is all it can handle for the moment. There were some nights I could barely string sentences together while talking to Key, let alone write them down…hence my absence from here last week. I thought I better get off my butt and write this post though, seeing as it will be my 200th!
This lentil salad with roasted beetroot is a damn fine recipe to celebrate this milestone with too. Roast some beetroots, cheat with a can of lentils and toss through some soft labne. Yes thank you. That’s a Winter salad! Now that I’m a working-gal again, I shall make this salad again soon to take as a work lunch. It would also be great served with a nice juicy steak or some grilled lamb loins for dinner.
I’m not the kind of person that goes off salads in Winter, I love to eat them all through the cold months. For me though, a Winter salad does need to be heartier than a warmer-weather one. I normally use less lettuce and add in more cooked veggies like the roasted beetroot and the barely-cooked green beans in this one.
The green beans need a quick top and tail and then steam or blanch them until they are vibrant green and just barely cooked through. Blanching just means to quickly cook in boiling water.
I quartered my beets for nice big chunks, but feel free to cut them smaller if your beets are big, or you want them to roast quicker. I always wear gloves when I cut and peel beetroots. My skin stains very easily, so if I don’t, I walk around for days afterwards with stained pink fingers and nails…not a great look.
I got this labne from the supermarket, but apparently it’s quite easy to make too. My mum makes a great version, but I didn’t have the foresight to start straining the yogurt overnight.
I don’t cook with lentils super often, so I normally just cheat and use canned ones. If you are confident with cooking them from scratch, then please feel free to do so. This would be a great recipe to showcase them.
Use the sweet, inner yellow leaves of the celery for this. You only need a few and they add a great flavour to the salad.
Look at those beautiful roasted beetroots. Yummo!
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar until is has emulsified or well combined and slightly creamy looking.
Toss everything together and then dress with the vinaigrette just before serving. Test for extra seasoning and add if required. Don’t be afraid to give it a good lug of salt, the lentils can be bland without it.
This salad is great served while the beetroot is still warm, or even once it’s cooled right down to room temperature.
Lentil Salad with Roasted Beetroot and Labne
Ingredients – Serves 3-4 as a side
- 4 medium sized beetroots (about 400g) peeled and quartered
- ½ tbs of olive oil
- 1 handful (about 90g) of green beans, topped and tailed
- 1 x 400g can of lentils, rinsed and drained
- 175g of labne, broken into large chunks
- ¼ of a medium red onion, peeled and finely sliced
- ¼ cup of roughly chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup of whole parsley leaves
- 1 stick of celery, sliced
- 1-2 tbs of the sweet, inner celery leaves
For the Vinaigrette
- 3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs of red wine vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Toss the beetroot in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place onto the lined tray and roast for 40 minutes or until it is cooked through and a knife can be inserted easily into it. Once cooked, let cool for about 10 minutes before assembling the salad.
- Once the beetroot is cooling, steam or blanch the beans until they are vibrant green and just barely cooked. Refresh them in cold water to stop the cooking process.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar until is has emulsified. Season it with salt and pepper.
- To assemble the salad, toss the beetroot, beans and then the rest of the ingredients together. Dress with the vinaigrette just before serving. Test for extra seasoning and add if required.
- Will keep ok overnight, but best eaten as soon as made.