Sometimes I honestly don’t know what I’m going to get with some of these recipes. The photos that accompany them always look so appealing and I wonder how my own photos will come out. Believe me, some haven’t made it. I’ve made some bad mistakes. I try to use the best ones, but a lot can go wrong.
Believe it or not, many photos you see alongside recipes online and in cookbooks aren’t even of the recipe itself. They’re of something “similar” to the recipe. I’ve encountered this a number of times. And after preparing whatever the recipe is for, I discover why there’s no photo of it. Some food items and dishes simply aren’t photogenic. Salads are tough. Soups are tough. A lot is tough, but I still try to do what I can to visually show you whatever it is I’m making.
The recipe below calls for three cups of lentils to be cooked and then mixed in with the rest of the salad. I saw a photo of the final salad and I told myself that there’s no way three cups of lentils are mixed in with it. After I took the photos of this dish last night, I mixed in only half the lentils and things weren’t that pretty. I guess my point here is, take what you see online and in cookbooks with a grain of salt. There’s a lot of fakery going on out there. That’s not to say I didn’t love this salad, because I did. It was delicious.
This isn’t a light and airy salad. It’s got a lot going on in it and you may well just get filled up by eating a bowl of it. There are beets and apples, lentils, pepper, onion, goat cheese and a whole lot more included in it. When I filled our bowls up last night, they had some weight to them. I thought that was awesome because I love these types of salads.
I do want to mention the flavor for a second. The vinaigrette used in this contains two tablespoons of maple syrup, so there’s a hint of sweetness in things. That syrup is combined with olive oil and vinegar and if you’ve ever tried that combination, you know it’s good. This mixture coats all of the salad, so it’s very pleasant.
For the Salad
4 Large Beets, Trimmed and Cleaned
3 Cups Uncooked Lentils
2 Large Apples, Cored and Sliced
1 Red Pepper, Diced
2 Scallions, Sliced Thinly
12 Fresh Basil Leaves, Chopped
12 Fresh Mint Leaves, Chopped
4 Cups Packed Arugula or Baby Greens
3 Tablespoons Sunflower Seeds
4 Ounces Goat Cheese, Crumbled
For the Dressing
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
3 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
I’d like to thank Le Coup de Grace for this recipe. I found this website a while back and wow, it’s got a lot of incredible recipes on it. This one is one of those good ones.
Cook the Beets
Make sure the beets are trimmed and cleaned. I prefer to keep the skins on mine, so that’s what I did with this dish. Quarter or cut the beets into eighths if necessary. Then, fill a pot with enough water to cover the beet and bring that water to a boil over high heat. Boil the beets for 20 minutes or so, or until they become tender and you can push a fork through them. When finished, turn off the heat and strain the beets through a colander. At this point, you may either peel the skins from the beets are keep them on.
Cook the Lentil
Add six cups of water to a pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Then, add in the lentil and lower the heat to medium low. Allow the lentil to simmer for 20-30 minutes until it becomes just tender. Since the pot is to remain uncovered, you may need to add enough water during this process so the lentil is covered the entire time. When finished, strain the lentil in a colander.
Make the Vinaigrette
Add the olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar, salt and pepper to a medium sized bowl and whisk these ingredients together well.
Add the apples, beets, scallions, red pepper, mint, basil, arugula and sunflower seeds to a large bowl and then add in half the vinaigrette. Toss everything well. In another bowl, combine the lentils with the other half of vinaigrette and toss that well too.
Plate & Serve
Divide the salad between bowls, then, add some lentils on top of the salad. Top each bowl or plate with goat cheese and serve. Enjoy!
The Final Beet & Lentil Salad
The reason I didn’t toss the lentils with the rest of the salad is because lentils can turn all the other delicious looking ingredients into something that’s not so delicious looking. The taste will be great, but it won’t look good. I decided to keep these ingredients separate and I think it worked out well. If you decide to give this recipe a try, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!