Lentil and Beet Salad
with feta and walnuts
This healthy and hearty vegetarian entree salad will have you loving beets! It takes just a little bit of work to draw out the sweetness of these vegetables, and you'll love the color they bring to this salad. Our paleo version substitutes steak for lentils for another great combo.
Smarts: Roasted beets don't take a lot of work but they do take some time, so roast them off on a weekend or after dinner one night when you're cleaning up or watching your favorite TV show.
- French or green lentils - 1 cup, dried ((2 cups cooked))
- Beets (medium-sized) - 2, roasted and chopped ((Or 3 small beets))
- Bay leaf - 1
- Shallots - 1 , diced
- Dijon mustard - 2 tsp
- Maple syrup - 1 Tbsp
- Balsamic vinegar - 2 Tbsp
- Cooking oil - 5 Tbsp
- Salt and pepper - to taste
- Walnuts - 1 cup
- Salad greens of choice - 8 oz ((Baby spinach, spring mix all would be great))
- Feta - 2 oz
- Lentils - Soak in water overnight. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Beets - Heat oven to 400F (204C) degrees. Scrub and then trim off ends, place into a baking dish, and fill with about ½” of water. Cover with foil and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on size of beets. Once they’re cool enough to handle, peel off skin with the side of a spoon and chop into bite-sized pieces. You can also do the same thing on a grill - just don’t use a glass baker - or boil them in water for 30 to 45 minutes until they can be easily pierced with a knife. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Prepare lentils - Place lentils in a saucepan, and cover with water by about 2”. Add some salt and a bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 to 30 minutes (it will take longer if you did not soak them) until lentils are tender but not mush. Drain.
- Make vinaigrette - Dice shallots. Whisk together shallots, Dijon, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toss vinaigrette with lentils, beets, walnuts, and greens. Crumble in feta.
Over soaked the lentils, so they were mushy but everything else tasted great. Used goat cheese instead of feta.0 Helpful
Left out the walnuts and added a chopped boiled egg and some green olives instead. Used some leftover lemon-dill dressing that I had made (in the general Cook Smarts vinaigrette manner) and kale as the salad greens. Will definitely make again. Love the Trader Joe's pre-cooked, peeled beets!0 Helpful
Really good! Was fun roasting beets for the first time too!0 Helpful
We overcooked (or over soaked?) the lentils, but overall I liked the salad. But the beets were too sweet. I had no idea they could taste like candy - but apparently they do when you roast them so long! I think next time I would just use 1 beet.0 Helpful
Not something I would normally choose to make, but I was pleasantly surprised! I agree with the comment about portion sizes being huge!0 Helpful
I roasted the beets and added bacon- delicious!0 Helpful