This is a wonderful dish for cold evenings or lunch boxes. It is delicious warm but will be still very tasty cold.
The earthiness of both beetroots and lentils, combined with the zing of the shallot salad dressing, marry so well.
Note: scroll down to the bottom for some shortcuts
4 servings – preparation 25 mins – cooking 45 mins
500 g beetroot 300 g Puy Lentils 1/2 shallot scallion 8 eggs 1 vegetable or chicken stock 300 ml white wine (optional) 3 tbsp olive oil + extra for drizzle 1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar Salt Baking parchment A bunch of herbs you like such as parsley, chive or coriander (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC.
Clean the beetroots under running water with a vegetable brush to remove dirt (no need to peel - the skin is a good source of fibre) and trim the greens. Chop the beetroots in half, quarters or sixth depending on its size.
Out of a large piece of parchment paper, create a pouch (double fold the sides and staple them - it is a great way to steam cook veg while give them a bit of colour). Place the beetroot in it, add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Seal the last side of the bag with staples. Place in the oven to cook for 40mins.
Prepare the lentils according to instruction on the pack: under tap water, rinse the lentils and put them in a pan with 3 times their volumes of liquid (I tend to do a mix of water and white wine to which I add a chicken stock cube and a bit of salt). Cook for 20-25mins. Taste the lentils, they shouldn’t be crunchy, yet not much. Drain and set aside.
Prepare the salad dressing: chop in small dice the shallot and mix it with the olive oil and vinegar. Season to taste. Add to the lentils while they are still warm - it will taste even better!
Cook the egg to medium boil: in a large saucepan, bring water to boil and add the eggs to it. Cook for 4-5mins, then dip the eggs in a bowl of icy cold water. It will stop them cooking and help with the peeling process.
To assemble, on a layer of lentils, place the beetroots and eggs cut in two. Sprinkle the herb you like and serve.
A few shortcuts:
Shortcut 1: you can use pre-cooked lentils and simply reheat them in the microwave.
Shortcut 2: I always frozen, shop-bought, chopped shallots in my freezer(as well as onions, garlic, ginger, chilli). they are a great time saver! you can use them for your dressing.