My Little Paris Kitchen

After a busy week of partying baby style it is finally time to unwind!
Nobody ever tells you how tiring kids birthdays are! Pfff...
Rachel Khoo's Puy Lentil Salad with Beetroot, Goats Cheese & Dill Vinaigerette
This dish is pretty versatile. If you do not like beetroot, consider substituting it with pumpkin or carrots. When I first made this dish, I used goat cheese as instructed and it was only then that I realised, I don’t actually like goat cheese. The second time I made it, I had some cottage cheese in my fridge and used that instead, and the salad tasted equally fabulous. If you are like me and not crazy about goat cheese, you can also use mozzarella or feta.
Start by roasting the beetroot first. During the last 15 minutes of roasting, start to cook the lentils and make the vinaigrette.
Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner
Author: Rachel Khoo

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Serves: 4 as a starter, or 2 as a main course
Roasted beetroot
1 medium size beetroot

Puy lentils
200g Puy lentils

1 bay leaf (if you cannot find fresh ones, it is ok to use dried bay leaves)
1 sprig of thyme
Salt and black pepper
200g fresh soft goat’s cheese
Extra virgin olive oil

Dill vinaigrette
½ bunch of dill*

2 tablespoons sunflower oil (or any neutral flavoured oil – I used grapeseed oil)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
A pinch of sugar

Roast the beetroot
– Preheat your oven to 200oC** and wash the beetroot.

– Wrap the beetroot in aluminium foil and place it on a baking tray. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the beetroot is tender (but not mushy, it should still have a bite).
– Roasted beetroot is sweet and mellow in taste (not as muddy as raw beetroot). However if you do not like beetroot, you can use carrots or pumpkin. You can use the same method to roast them, it should take around 30-45 minutes.
– Once the beetroot is roasted, peeled and finely slice it with a mandolin (always use the hand guard) or a sharp knife.

Puy lentils 
– Wash the Puy lentils in cold running water and strain.

– Put the washed lentils in a pot together with the bay leaf, thyme and a generous pinch of salt. Cover the lentils with cold water that is at least double the volume, and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. It is important to use cold water so that the cooking is even and the lentils don’t turn mushy on the outside and uncooked on the inside.
– Once the lentils are cooked, drain and wash them with cold water to prevent them from cooking further. Remove the bay leaf and thyme, and set aside.

Dill vinaigrette 
– While waiting for the lentils to cook, start on the vinaigrette.

– Using a food processor, put in the dill (including the stalks), oil, white wine vinegar, salt and sugar, and whizz them up. Taste and add more salt or sugar as desired. If you find the vinaigrette a bit stiff, add in a bit more oil to loosen the mixture.
– If you do not own a food processor, make the vinaigrette using a pestle and mortar or an immersion blender.

To assemble the dish, divide the lentils equally among the plates. Place the sliced beetroot on top and crumble the goat’s cheese. Drizzle the dill vinaigrette and olive oil, and finish with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.
*If you are getting your dill from the supermarket, it usually comes in a small packet. You will need around 4 packs.
**If you do not have an oven, you can do this via a toaster oven or a steamer. The cooking time is about the same. You just need to check on it and make sure the vegetable is tender (but not mushy).

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