Balsamic Beets, Lentil and Hazelnut Salad

This can only be described as a super hearty salad. A man salad if you will. Bits and pieces foraged from both the allotment, the pantry and the dark saddened depths of the vegetable fridge draw. Not sure if its just me but does anyone else suffer from the wilting and unappetising reduced packet of dill sitting shyly in the bottom draw of the fridge? Often usually buried beneath the more popular and beautiful fresh non-reduced delights…

Put to good use here however:

Serves 2

  • 4oz Puy lentils
  • 2 raw beetroot, washed
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • Handful dill, chopped,
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Handful chives, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Handful hazelnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and fresh black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Chop the beetroot into wedges and place in a roasting tray. Season and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for about 20-30 minutes until tender and beginning to crisp.
  2. Meanwhile, simmer the lentils in water for about 18 minutes until tender but with a slight bite.
  3. Roast the whole hazelnuts in the hot oven for about 8 minutes. Remove and if skinned, wrap in a tea towel and rub them until the skins peal away easily then leave to cool before roughly chopping.
  4. After the beetroot is tender enough turn the oven down to 180°C. Add the garlic and coat the beetroot in the balsamic vinegar. Continue to roast for 5-10 minutes until the balsamic begins to glaze the beetroot slightly. Remove from the oven and set aside to keep warm.
  5. Drain the lentils when ready. Season well (it will need it) and add the roasted garlicy beetroot and any balsamic juices. Add the chopped herbs and the chopped hazelnuts.
  6. Combine all well and serve. I served mine topped with some lovely pan fried sea bream and a raw shaved fennel and pea salad! Delicious…