‘I am always surprised to discover how few people know that beetroots can be eaten raw. They are truly delicious this way!’ says Sarah Britton, author of My New Roots. ‘The beetroot party includes both raw and roasted beetroots, for the ultimate mix of textures and flavours. Roasted beetroots are deeply sweet and velvety, while raw beetroots are earthy and very crunchy. You will be amazed that they are the same vegetable. This salad is a total flavour fest, celebrating beetroots, oranges, fresh parsley, and pine nuts. Black lentils add texture and tons of protein and fiber. It is altogether fresh and alive—the perfect party to attend this winter.’
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
1⁄2 cup / 100g black lentils, soaked (overnight if possible) | Fine sea salt | 6 mixed beetroots (2 pounds / 1kg; red, golden, white, Chioggia…) | 1⁄4 cup / 60 ml cold-pressed olive oil | 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar | 2 tsp raw honey or pure maple syrup | Grated zest of 2 organic oranges | 1⁄2 cup / 10g chopped flat-leaf parsley | 1⁄4 cup / 35g raw pine nuts, lightly toasted | Freshly cracked pepper
WHAT TO DO
- Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C / gas mark 6.
- Drain and rinse the lentils, put them in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until tender but not mushy, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the soaking time. When the lentils are almost cooked, add 3⁄4 teaspoon salt and continue to simmer until tender. Drain, and rinse under cold water to halt the cooking. Put the lentils in a large bowl.
- Wrap 4 beetroots in aluminium foil and put them on a baking sheet. Roast the beetroots until they are cooked through, 35 to 50 minutes, depending on their size. Remove from the oven, let sit in their foil for about 15 minutes, and when they are cool enough to handle, unwrap the foil and slip the skins off. Chop the beetroots into bite-size pieces and add them to the lentils.
- Peel the remaining 2 beetroots. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the beetroots into thin rounds; then slice the rounds crosswise to make matchsticks. Add the raw beetroots to the lentils and roasted beetroots.
Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, honey, and a pinch of salt together in a small bowl, and pour this dressing over the salad. Add the orange zest, chopped parsley, and pine nuts, and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy.
Recipes and images from My New Roots by Sarah Britton, Macmillan, RRP $42.99.