I’ll be honest, salads don’t tend to excite me very much. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the freshness a few leaves bring on the side of something else but as a standalone dish, it’s not really for me. However, things have changed and I’ve started to make, what I would call, more ‘bulky’ salads. This particular combination of beetroot, lentil and bergamot lemon is so colourful and combined with a bit of goat’s cheese is equally good warm or cold.
You will need (for two large salads):
- 3 medium beetroot
- 100g soft goat’s cheese
- 100g green lentils
- Two handfuls of rocket
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp bergamot lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
Cook the lentils according to the packet instructions. Cook them in stock rather than water if you want to add a bit more oomph to your lentils.
Place the beetroot in a saucepan with cold water. Bring the pan to the boil then reduce to a simmer and leave for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of your beetroot.
Drain the beetroot and leave to cool before removing the skin. I find the best way to do this is to gently rub and squeeze it off with your hands. You end up with fantastically pink palms afterwards but it’s so satisfying to remove the skins this way!
Drain the lentils when they are done. I always give them a quick rinse afterwards too.
Add the lentils, beetroot and rocket to a bowl and crumble over the cheese.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and a good pinch of salt and pepper before pouring this over the salad.
The lentils bring plenty of padding to the dish along with the earthiness of the beetroot and the freshness of the rocket it’s really vibrant. The goat’s cheese adds creaminess and the delicious bergamot lemon dressing finishes it all off nicely. A good excuse to make something different to make the most of the distinctive bergamot lemon flavour. I really like this salad; filling, flavourful and full of texture.