In situations like these, when the days feel never-ending and almost unbearably miserable and cold the only cure seems to be a steaming hot soup, a comforting stew or a warm winter salad.
Rachel Khoo has a true gem up her sleeve with her lentil and beetroot salad. A fairly light yet comforting meal, this dish is rustled up in half an hour, looks good and tastes even better. I love the idea of using plenty of dill in the vinaigrette, which creates a lovely little pop of colour on a plate of brown.
I decided to amend the recipe a bit and added caramelised shallots and maple cured bacon - because who can resist a bit of crispy bacon. This was a great addition to the dish, rounding everything of with a smokey sweetness.
I have made this in the past adding ingredients such as mushrooms, butternut squash, spinach... be creative!
- 200g puy lentils, washed
- 100g soft goats cheese
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 stock cube (I used beef but you can use vegetable or chicken)
- 6 rashers streaky maple cured bacon, cut into chunks
- 2 beetroots, very thinly sliced
- 2 shallots finely diced
- 1/2 bunch dill
- 2tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1/2tsp salt
- a pinch of brown sugar
- salt and pepper
- rocket to serve
- Cover the lentils with cold water and add the bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling crumble in the stock cube. Simmer for 30-40 minutes (check on the packet instructions) until the lentils are tender.
- Pre-heat some olive oil in a frying pan and sautee the shallots until they start to brown (this should take about 5 minutes). Add the bacon and fry until brown and crispy.
- Once cooked, drain the lentils (if necessary), remove the bay leaf and thyme and add to the bacon/shallot mixture. Combine everything and season to taste.
- Place the dill, vinegar, oil, salt and sugar into a blending bowl or food processor (you can also use a stick blender) and whizz until well combined and you have a liquid vinaigrette.
- Spoon the lentil bacon mix onto a plate, top with the beetroot, goat's cheese and rocket and drizzle with the vinaigrette.
Recipe taken from Rachel Khoo's The Little Paris Kitchen and adapted by Etta.