Winter this year seems eternal. I truly thought it was all over when we had a short spell of spring the other week - but no, it came back with a vengeance. It has been raining, snowing, sleeting and hailing ever since. Literally the whole lot.

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!


COOKS 30-45mins

  • 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
  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Spoon the lentil bacon mix onto a plate, top with the beetroot, goat's cheese and rocket and drizzle with the vinaigrette. 
This is particularly yummy with a rich glass of red. 

Recipe taken from Rachel Khoo's The Little Paris Kitchen and adapted by Etta.

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