a warm salad of steamed beetroot lentils & spinach with feta & toasted walnuts

8th March 2015

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I thought I would revisit this salad and give it a new life and breath.  It was posted a while back and I was recently reminded how soothingly warm and calming it is.   I have made it twice this last week, taking advantage of the abundance of greens in the garden and beets being so fresh in the market lately.

It is one of those recipes out of a leather-bound journal from many years ago that I would travel the world with, documenting thoughts and new-found recipes.  Since then this book has also been given a new lease of life – recovered, rebound and blessed with a few goodnessis isms.

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a warm salad of steamed beetroot, lentil & spinach with feta & toasted walnuts

Inspired by Leonie whose food creations were always so full of vitality and inspiration.

For this recipe, you can use any sort of greens you have available.  My favourite, being a combination of kale, spinach & beet greens.  If you are lucky enough to have the greens still attached to the beetroot use those as well.  Depending on what I am serving this salad with,  I sometimes leave out the feta or serve it on the side for those who don’t eat dairy, or for a lighter salad you can leave out the lentils.

ingredients :

6 medium beetroot

½ cup red lentils

400g spinach/kale/beet greens

½ cup small mint leaves

150g feta cheese, cut into small cubes

¾ cup walnuts/pecans, roughly chopped

for the dressing :

2 Tblsp honey

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ cup lemon juice

cup olive oil

1 Tblsp balsamic vinegar

preparation :

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Spread the nuts evenly on a baking tray and toast for 12 – 15 minutes.  Remove and roughly chop.

Steam the whole beetroot, about 35 – 45 minutes.  Drain, cool slightly and peel while still warm.  Cut into cubes.  Meanwhile, cover the lentils in water and lightly simmer for about 7 minutes until they are still whole and keep their crunch.  Drain and set aside.

Steam the rinsed greens slightly until just wilted.  This takes very little time – careful not to overcook it.  After steaming, quickly run under cold water to retain their vibrant green colour.  Gently squeeze any excess water out and finely chop.

In a large bowl, combine the warm lentils and spinach.  Gently stir in the beetroot, sprinkle over the cubes of feta, nuts and fresh mint leaves.

Prepare the dressing by diluting the honey in a little hot water.  Toast the cumin seeds lightly and grind them roughly with a mortar and pestle, whisk together with the honey, lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad.  This salad is equally lovely while still warm or at room temperature.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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