Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Yield: 4 Servings
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Ingredients

Lentils: 

1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and quartered

1 carrot, quartered

1 stalk celery, quartered

1 fresh or dried bay leaf

4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 cups chicken stock

1 1/4 cups dried French green lentils

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 pound slab bacon, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

4 cups frisee or mixed greens

Sherry Vinaigrette, recipe follows

4 slices goat cheese

French bread, for serving

Roasted Beets, recipe follows

Roasted Beets:

3 medium beets (red or gold), scrubbed, leaves trimmed

Olive oil

Sherry Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Begin by roasting the beets.
  2. Tie onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs together in cheesecloth. Place chicken stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the lentils, season with salt and pepper, and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and discard the cheesecloth bag of aromatics.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until lightly golden brown. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a dish lined with paper towels. Add the garlic and carrot to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked lentils and bacon to the pan and stir to combine. Stir in the chopped thyme and 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep warm.
  4. To assemble, place the frisee in a large bowl, toss with half of the vinaigrette, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the roasted beets around the outside of 4 dinner plates. Divide the greens among each plate in the center. Top the frisee with some of the warm lentils and place a slice of the goat cheese on top. Drizzle each salad with the remaining vinaigrette. Serve with slices of French bread.

Roasted Beets:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Coat beets lightly with oil. Wrap beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until cooked through, approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, and then peel and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Sherry Vinaigrette:

  1. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, thyme and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk until emulsified.
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