This delicious salad of earthy puy lentils, sweet roasted beetroot and salty feta is such a fabulous combination of flavours and can be served hot, warm or fridge cold, making it very versatile. It’s great for taking to work in a box, but pretty enough to serve at a dinner party.
The recipe was inspired by one I found in a recent issue of a foodie magazine…I have adapted it to suit my tastes better and simplified it a bit. I’ve also made it work – the original recipe suggested roasting the beetroot and red onion wedges for 40 minutes…if I had done that, I would have cremated them!
The result is a simple, easy meal that would work well midweek, but is pretty enough to serve as a dinner party starter (or even a vegetarian main course) and works very well cold the next day for taking to the office and making all your colleagues jealous. It’s vegetarian and naturally gluten free too, so a good one to serve as part of a buffet or for taking to a potluck/shared meal.
Before I made this salad, I had never roasted beetroot and I was surprised how easy and delicious it was…one note of caution: if you don’t want your hands stained for the rest of the day, wear washing up gloves and don’t forget to wash your chopping board immediately or it will be stained for a long time!
Wine wise, this would go really well with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
- 1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
- 500g baby beetroot, cut into wedges a similar size to the onion
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 250g pack ready prepared puy lentils (I used Merchant Gourmet)
- 200g rice (I use a mixture of wild and basmati rice from Tesco)
- 150g feta cheese, crumbled plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped finely plus extra for garnish
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Prepare the red onions and beetroot and place in a roasting tray. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle over a little salt and pepper. Roast in your preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the beetroot is soft (check by inserting a knife – it should go in easily) and the red onion is tinged with golden brown but not burnt!
- Meanwhile cook 200g rice according to packet instructions / your own preferences. Drain when ready (if necessary).
- When the red onions and beetroot are ready, add the puy lentils to the tray and give everything a stir. Spread out again in the baking tray and return to the oven for 5 minutes, by which time the puy lentils should be warmed through.
- While the lentils are warming, mix together the dressing ingredients in a small jug or jam jar.
- After the 5 minutes are up, remove the roasting tray and add the dressing, crumbled feta and chopped parsley and stir everything together.
- Serve the warm salad on a bed of rice. Crumble over some more feta and sprinkle over some more parsley. Serve with a zingy Sauvignon Blanc.