Beet Braised Lentils

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Beets and lentils are a marriage made by the gods. In this recipe for Beet Braised Lentils, the two compliment each other so generously, it becomes obvious they belong together. Beets infuse an earthy sweetness to the lentils, while giving them such a lovely color. They are added in two ways — peeled and diced with the mirepoix, and also juiced, added to the braising liquid for an unexpected burst of beet flavor. If you don’t have a juicer, remember you can always purchase fresh beet juice from a juice bar.…you’ll need about one cup.

Serve the Beet Braised Lentils with oven-roasted rosemary chicken, or underneath mushroom crusted sea bass {recipe coming soon}, or simply its own – as a vegetarian main, in a bowl, topped with a little crumbled goat cheese.

This recipe was inspired by a dish we had at a restaurant in Palm Springs, called Workshop. They topped their beet braised lentils with a warm, crispy breaded goat cheese “cake.” It was divine. The chef, Michael Beckman, adds browned butter to the finished lentils, which brought it over the top.

If you are looking for locally-grown Palouse lentils, we sell cute bags of Pacific Northwest Farmers Co-op’s “black caviar” lentils at our shop: Bowl and Pitcher.

If lentils tend to reek havoc on your stomach, try soaking them overnight, which will greatly improve their digestibility. Soaked lentils will also cook faster.

Beet Braised Lentils
Beet Braised Lentils

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced red onion (½ a red onion)
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 cup peeled and diced beet (one large beet, plus 2 more for juicing)
  • 4 cloves garlic-rough chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups black caviar, beluga or Puy lentils (soaked overnight if possible)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • splash balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh beet juice (either purchase from a juice bar, or juice 2 extra large beets)
  • 2- 3 tablespoons browned butter (optional but delicious)
  • crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy bottom pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, carrot, beets and celery, and saute for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Turn heat to medium, add garlic, lentils and herbs and sauté for 2 more minutes.Add stock and salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover with lid, and turn heat to low, maintaining a gentle simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.

You can find complete recipes of this Beet Braised Lentils in feastingathome.com

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