Yellow Beetroot, Radish and Lentil Salad

I happened upon yellow beetroot today at the supermarket – the previous week, at a rather fancy eatery in Las Vegas I had eaten a delicious beet salad with micro-greens, so was inspired to make my home spun version. I’m never going to be the one who painstakingly arranges leaves around a plate with tweezers – so this automatically beautiful salad is something very special. The vibrant yellow of the beetroot with the hot pink radish and flecks of green and black from the herbs and lentils make it a treat for the eyes. The taste is quite delicious too. I have found a new staple ingredient in Champagne vinegar – much more refined than white wine vinegar and absolutely perfect for delicate dressings. This salad has it all, earthy, sweet flavours, crunch and plenty of body too. A real favourite.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup puy lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely diced onion
1 tablespoon finely diced celery
1 tablespoon finely diced carrot
1 garlic clove (mashed)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt & pepper
3 medium sized yellow beetroot
1 bunch radishes (thickly sliced)
1/2 lemon (juice of)
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsely (finely chopped)

DIRECTIONS:
Boil the beetroot for 1 hour with the skins on for 1 hour. Cool slightly then remove the skins and cut into bitesize chunks. Set aside.

In a small pan, heat the olive oil and gently fry the onion, celery and carrot for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds before adding the cumin and lentils. Pour over 1 1/2 cups of hot water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and boil for about an hour, until the lentils are soft. Remove the lid and cook until all of the liquid is gone. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool to room temperature.

To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, champagne vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

In a large bowl, toss together the beetroot, radishes, lentils, tarragon, parsley and dressing. Leave for 30 minutes to let the flavour develop before serving.

SERVING:
Serve alongside chicken or fish or whatever you see fit…

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