Roasted beet and lentil salad. Welcome to another favourite this season. A salad made with earthy roasted beets, sautéed shallots, beluga lentils, parsley, walnuts and pomegranate…and just a little smoked bacon for extra depth of flavour. All of which are tossed in a Dijon balsamic dressing for delicious and healthy salad.
How to cook beluga lentils perfectly?
When you are making a lentil salad recipe, the texture of lentils is key. You want them firm enough so they hold their shape — al dente. Mushy lentils make for bad salads. Cooking them is easy, there is just couple points to keep in mind:
- Place in a medium saucepan and cover with COLD water, with a 1 for 3 ratio, lentils to water.
- Depending on the brand, you may be advised to cook them anywhere from 20-35 minutes. I always check mine at the 20 minute mark for doneness. Fork tender is the goal.
- Season your lentils after cooking them. Adding salt to the cooking water can cause them to become tough and hardened as they cook. Not the goal here!
How to adapt this roasted beet and lentil salad
This roasted beet and lentil salad recipe is just delicious just the way it is, but of course there is always the option to make it your very own. You can easily adapt it by adding or swapping out ingredients depending what you have on hand.
Here are a few ideas to replace some of the ingredients or improve your lentil salad with a few add-ons:
- Beluga lentils – I use black lentils for this recipe, but you could also use French Le Puy lentils or green lentils.
- Beets — I love beets and lentils together, but you could also do a mix of beets and carrots, or other a mix of other earthy sweet root vegetables like parsnips. Or try sweet potato! Lentils and sweet potato are a dream team!
- Add some greens — a handful of baby spinach leaves is a welcome addition to any lentil salad. Or just go for your favorite greens.
- Add a little cheese – feel free to add a little crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese
- Skip the bacon – make it vegetarian (and vegan) by omitting the bacon and adding a little smoked paprika for a bit of smoky flavours. Or try smoked salt. Or skip both and enjoy this salad pure.
Looking for more ideas with lentils?
Try one of these delicious lentils recipes:
- Roasted Carrot Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing
- Mediterranean Lentil Sala
- Beluga Lentil Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato and Beet
- Beluga Lentil Salad with Green Beans & Lemon-Mint Dressing
Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad with Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette
For the roasted beets:
- 5-6 medium beets, peeled and cut into evenly sized wedges (600-700 g)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
For the salad:
- 1 cup dry black lentils (200 g)
- 3 medium shallots, finely diced
- 50 g diced smoked bacon
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 25 g toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1-2 handfuls pomegranate seeds
For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (60 ml)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the beets onto the tray and toss with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until just fork soft.
Meanwhile, place lentils in a large saucepan, cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil (generally, lentils should be cooked at a 1:3 ratio, lentils to water), then simmer over medium heat for 20-25 minutes (according to package instructions), until al dente. Drain, then transfer to a large serving bowl.
Heat a small drizzle of oil in a non-stick skillet, over medium heat, add the shallots and bacon and sauté until golden brown. About 5-7 minutes, then add to the bowl with the lentils.
In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the lentil mixture and toss to combine. Add the roasted beets, parsley, toasted walnuts, and pomegranate. Toss again to combine.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
- I like using a combo of red and yellow beets for this recipe.
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