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Lentils with Tarragon, Shallots, and Beets

Deep-hued lentils and roasted beets make a delicious combination.

  • Servings: 10

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2002


  • 3 1/2 pounds beets, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more for cooking lentils
  • 1 pound French green lentils, picked over
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss beets with 2 tablespoons oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet; pour 1/4 cup water into pan. Cover with foil; roast until beets are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool. Peel and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

  2. Meanwhile, combine lentils, garlic, and bay leaves in a 6-quart saucepan; add enough cold water to cover by about 3 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender but not mushy, 10 to 20 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and cook about 5 minutes more. Drain in a colander; let cool.

  3. Make vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine shallot, mustard, and vinegar; let stand 15 minutes. Slowly whisk in remaining 1/4 cup oil in a steady stream.

  4. Transfer lentils to a large serving bowl. Pour vinaigrette over lentils, and add tarragon; toss well to combine. Toss in beets. Season with salt and pepper, and serve, or cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator up to 4 hours; bring to room temperature before serving.

Cook's Notes

To prevent lentils from becoming too soft as they cool, spread them on a baking sheet.

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