Lentils might not be the sexiest vegetables around, but for me, the secret to enjoying these little legumes lies in adhering to the following basic rules a. use puy lentils, they are less starchy and much more pleasant than other types, b. use a good (read: enough!) dressing, c. add cheese. This salad is a perfect way to put these rules into action. The earthiness of the beetroot matches perfectly with the tangy dill vinaigrette and the aromatic puy lentils. Rather than a soft goat’s cheese, I like to use a mild Dutch goat’s cheese. The texture is firm and smooth and the taste is less sour and less salty than either soft fromage de chèvre or crumbly feta cheese.
Ingredients (for 2), adapted from Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen
200g puy lentils
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
handful of dill, finely chopped
coarse sea salt
2 cooked beets, thinly sliced
Dutch goat’s cheese (or other soft goat’s cheese if you can’t get hold of the former), thinly sliced
- Put the lentils in a pan, add a generous amount of water and a bay leaf. Bring to the boil and boil for about 20 minutes, then drain and remove the bay leaf.
- While the lentils are still warm, make a dressing with sunflower oil, vinegar and chopped dill and add to the lentils. Season with some extra olive oil and plenty of coarse sea salt.
- Arrange on two plates and top off with beetroot slices and slices of cheese. Enjoy!