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Lentil Salad with Beets

This hearty salad is on the menu at Elio's in Manhattan -- one of Martha's favorite Italian restaurants.

  • servings: 4

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, quartered, plus 1/4 cup very finely chopped carrot
  • 1 stalk celery, quartered
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried French green lentils
  • 5 medium beets, scrubbed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 thick slices slab bacon, very finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 4 half-inch-thick slices fresh goat cheese, optional

Directions

  1. Step 1

    In a medium saucepan, combine onion, quartered carrot, celery, bay leaf, and 5 cups water; cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add lentils, and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, and discard the seasonings.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, place beets in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking until fork-tender. Remove saucepan from heat. Remove beets from water, and set aside until cool enough to handle, reserving cooking liquid. Peel, and return beets to cooking liquid until ready to serve.

  3. Step 3

    Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Still whisking, slowly add 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; set aside.

  4. Step 4

    In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the finely chopped carrot and bacon. Cook until the color of the bacon has changed, about 1 minute. Add the cooked lentils, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the lentils are heated through. Drizzle with red-wine vinegar, and stir to combine. Transfer lentils to a medium bowl.

  5. Step 5

    Place greens in a medium bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette, tossing to combine. Divide greens among four plates. Top with warm lentils. Place a slice of goat cheese on the lentils. Slice beets and arrange around the perimeter of the plates; serve immediately.

Source
Martha Stewart Living Television

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Reviews (4)

  • Jacinta C 11 Feb, 2013

    This salad is very good!! all my family loved it including kids and teenagers. It´s sophisticated and healthy

  • KrisLady 6 Jul, 2010

    Why reserve the beet cooking liquid in step 2?

  • scrapofnature 4 Mar, 2008

    I do recommend a drizzle of Umiboshe Plum Vinegar and some well browned sauteed, grilled, or broiled mushrooms (wild or what have you) If you're vegan or just off goat cheese 'cause you broke like me, the Umiboshe gives it a nice salty piquancy to replace it, and the mushrooms give it a nice mouth feel. I skipped the bacon because that's the way I am. You can get fake stuff though.

  • scrapofnature 4 Mar, 2008

    Close to a salad I make, but decomposed. I adore beets, the sweet, strangely musty, sturdy great aunt with whom you recall sitting on the floor to snap beans when you were 7. The beet waits until it crosses someonen n n n n n s mind, content to know that it was once a gracious, humble, debutant, her deepest rubies and carmines bleeding torpor around the plate, giving smoke-serious lentils a woman to smile about, elbow the snide goat cheese and say "That onen n n n n n n n n n n n