Sure you could have a beet salad or you could have a lentil salad or you could combine them into this amazing French Lentil Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese! The perfect healthy side dish, goes great with grilled or roasted chicken!
Post contains affiliate links, full disclosure on side bar.
Healthy Side Dish Salad Recipes
I am always searching for healthy side dish recipes. Especially recipes that combine your salad with the vegetable and then if it includes some cheese, well that’s just an extra bonus! This lentil salad combines two of my favorite things – beets and goat cheese with something I am slowly growing to like – lentils.
If you are not a lentil lover, get ready for this lentil recipe to change your mind. I’ve always been kind of on the fence about lentils, but not any more!
Step One Roast Some Beets
Since the beets take the longest to cook, you begin by roasting them. Now, I know there are people who say that if you are cooking them in aluminum foil you are actually steaming them and not roasting them. Whatever you want to call it, you trim and scrub the beets and drizzle with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. They roast for about an hour.
Step 2 Cook Your Lentils
Do you ever look at your cooking and think it looks like art? I loved the way these lentils looked with their onion halves, garlic cloves, and rosemary. I’d probably cook quicker if I didn’t stop to admire my work so much!
Step 2 is cooking the lentils with aromatics. In this case, the aromatics are rosemary, garlic, and onion halves.
While the lentils and beets are cooking, you make your salad dressing a simple vinaigrette that you’ll want to use on everything.
Step 3 Assemble the Salad
When everything is finished cooking and the lentils and beets have cooled, assemble the salad.
This was a winner! It was the perfect accompaniment to my spatchcocked chicken. The lentils added a deep earthiness, the beets a sweetness and that all played nicely with the tart goat cheese. I found this recipe in Food Networks Kitchen Cookbook.
French Lentil and Roasted Beet Salad
- 1 pound beets about 3 medium
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup de Puy lentils
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary divided
- 1 whole bay leaf dried or fresh
- 2 large cloves of garlic peeled and smashed
- 1/2 onion studded with a whole clove
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for seasoning to taste?
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley minced
- freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups mixed baby greens
- 6 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- 3 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots minced
- 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim all but 1 inch of the beet stems. Put the beets on a large piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and fold over to make a tight package. Put the beets in a small roasting pan. Roast the beets for one hour. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them. Dice the beets and set aside.
- 2. While you roast the beets, rinse and drain the lentils. Put them in a saucepan with cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Add 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary and the bay leaf to the pan, along with the smashed garlic, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Strain the lentils and discard garlic and onion.
- 3. While lentils are simmering, prepare the salad dressing: Whisk vinegar with mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, to make a smooth, slightly thick vinaigrette. Stir in the shallots. Use immediately or refrigerate in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.
- 4. Put the warm lentils in a bowl and stir in half of the dressing. Cool the lentils completely, then add the beets, parsley, and remaining 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Lightly dress the greens with a bit of the dressing and divide among 6 plates. Spoon some of the lentil salad onto the greens, crumble goat cheese over each serving, and drizzle with some of the remaining vinaigrette
Looking for more lentil recipes: