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Warmed green lentil, roasted beetroot and feta salad

Although I have added this to the side dish section, it is so hearty, that we enjoy it as a meal in its own right, although I suppose carb lovers may need some crusty bread on the side.  I think it is filling enough as it is. 
  • 4-5 medium-large beetroot
  • 150-200g dried green lentils (or can use puy lentils, if you've just been paid)
  • half onion, chopped fine
  • splash olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • handful of sprigs fresh thyme
  • your favourite salad dressing
  • feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  1. Soak about 150g-200g dried green lentils in water for about half an hour then drain. 
  2. Place the beetroot, whole, in a roasting tin and drizzle with a splash of olive oil. Roast in a hot oven for about 45 mins-1 hour, or until tender, depending on the size and number of beetroot.
  3. Meanwhile, fry the onion gentle in a saucepan in a splash of olive oil.  After about 5 minutes add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme and drained lentils, stirring to coat in the oil.  Add enough water to just cover the lentils. Simmer away uncovered until the lentils are cooked but still with a very slight bite.    Keep an eye on them, to make sure that they do not boil dry and add a tiny bit of water if necessary. 
  4. When the beetroot are cooked and cooled to touch, skin them and then slice or dice.  
  5. When the lentils are cooked the water should have evaporated and they should not need draining, but do remove the water if you need. Tip them into a serving dish and dress with your favourite dressing while still warm and stir.  
  6. Lovingly scatter the beetroot on top of the lentils. Either use a spoon to do this or wash your hands afterwards to prevent the feta from discolouring, if presentation is important to you!  Then crumble the feta on top and lastly the toasted pine nuts. Finally sprinkle the parsley leaves over and serve.  
  7. You may wish to warn your children about the effects of beetroot on their urine. I didn't and mine were rather shocked after the first time they ate beetroot!