Lentil salad with baked beets, spinach and yogurt-mint dressing

April 13, 2011

French green lentils are the little jewels of legumes. They’re nutritious, delicate, slightly nutty and incredibly delicious.

Best of all, they cook quickly, require no soaking time and hold on to their shape once cooked.

Every kitchen should have a jar of these tiny jewels on hand.

French green lentils are superb on their own, as a side dish, in stews or in soups like this spinach-lentil soup with saffron and manchego; but they also make the perfect addition to salads – their earthy flavor and soft texture contrasting marvelously with the crunchy greens.

Here the lentils are served with intensely-flavored baked beets, crisp spinach leaves and a minty yogurt dressing.

The flavors work magnificently together and the nutritious lentils transform this salad into a robust, mouthwatering, one-stop meal.

Served with a slice of crusty whole grain bread, this is a salad you’ll love to sink your teeth into for lunch, or even dinner.

Rose wine iconA rosé is a delicious pairing with the beets, and with the herbal element in the yogurt dressing. How about trying a rosé from Greece, made with the Agiorgitiko grape? You’ll be delighted by these fruit-forward, mineral-laden, crisp wines. To read an article I wrote about pairing the Gai’A 14-18h Agiorgitiko with this salad, click here.

Lentil salad with baked beets, spinach and yogurt-mint dressing

serves 6
active time: 30 min

For the lentils

  1. 6 cups spring or filtered water
  2. 1 cup French green lentils
  3. 1 bay leaf
  4. 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (1 small)
  5. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  7. 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  8. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  9. freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the dressing

  1. 1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  2. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  3. 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  4. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  5. freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the salad

  1. 3 medium baked red beetroots
  2. 1 large handful (2 oz) (55 g) baby spinach

  1. Step 1: In a medium pot, place the water, lentils and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pot and simmer covered for 20 to 25 minutes until tender. Drain and remove the bay leaf. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
  2. Step 2: In a small bowl, whisk the shallots, parsley, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper until well blended. Add to the cooled lentils, stir well and set aside.
  3. Step 3: For the dressing – In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, lemon juice, mint, salt and pepper until well blended. Set aside.
  4. Step 4: Peel the beets by slipping the skin off with the back of a knife and cut in 1/4” slices.
  5. Step 5: Place a few spinach leaves in the center of each plate. Top with the lentils. Garnish with a few beet slices. Drizzle with the yogurt dressing and finish with some freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

salad, lentils, beets, spinach
© 2014 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

EA-The Spicy RD April 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

This looks delicious, and I bet the flavors are great together! Love your photos!

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Viviane April 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Thank you so much! You made my day…

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El April 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I am an avid fan of beets and lentils but never considered pairing them. Now that I’ve see this gorgeous post I can’t wait. Just beautiful.

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Jen April 14, 2011 at 12:33 am

Yummm what a great looking salad! I love reading your blog and it would be great if you could check mine out :)

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Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz April 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Just a beautiful salad and I agree lentils are a must in any kitchen. I love adding them to spaghetti sauces too.

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Viviane April 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Evelyne, That’s brilliant… I love legumes with pasta, but never thought of adding these little jewels to a sauce. I’ll do so soonest!

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Tiffany April 17, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Elegant and fresh… my kind of salad!

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Sandra's Easy Cooking April 18, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Beautiful Salad..I love beets so this us perfect to me! Great photos!

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Kristin July 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm

This looks delicious…and so healthy! Cant wait to make it! I love your blog….great pictures!

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