Califonia Bountiful
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Golden beet and black lentil salad with sherry vinaigrette

Golden beet and black lentil salad with sherry vinaigrette

Ingredients

Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
3 tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

Salad
1 cup dried black lentils
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
4 golden beets, scrubbed and tops removed
4 cups arugula
4 radishes, sliced thinly on a mandoline
4 kumquats, sliced thinly on a mandoline


This salad balances several flavors: peppery (radishes and arugula), sweet (beets) and tangy (citrus and sherry vinegar). You may substitute any type of citrus in place of kumquats. Black lentils make the salad hearty enough to be a main dish.

Directions

For the vinaigrette: Mix all ingredients together.

For the salad: Place lentils in a medium-sized pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Add a few pinches of salt and the bay leaf, then bring water to a boil over high heat. Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain and dress with a few spoonfuls of vinaigrette. Set aside.

Similarly, place beets in a medium-sized pot and cover with 3 inches of water. Add a few pinches of salt and bring water to a boil over high heat. Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 45 minutes or until beets are tender and easy to pierce. Drain, run under cold water and rub the skins off. Cut beets into 1-inch chunks and dress with a few spoonfuls of vinaigrette. Set aside.

The lentils, beets and vinaigrette can be made ahead of time. When you are ready to serve the salad, dress remaining ingredients. To serve, use lentils and beets as a base. Top with arugula, radish and kumquat. Season with salt and pepper, as needed.

Serves 4