Simple, healthy, and satisfying, this fresh and flavorful recipe for beets and lentils by Gayle Pirie of San Francisco’s Foreign Cinema restaurant is approachable and transformative. It looks and feels fancy, yet is loaded with nothing but the good stuff. Also, it keeps well in the fridge for up to a week, making it something you’ll want to create over and over again as a fabulous snack, green salad embellishment, or sensational side dish.
Masala Beluga Lentils with Roasted Baby Beets
- 12 baby beets
- 1 1/2 cups beluga lentils small black lentils
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or other vinegar
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- Small handful of mâche or baby salad greens for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the beets and 1⁄4 cup water in a small roasting pan, cover with foil, and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the beets are just tender to the touch. Cool and peel the beets with a paring knife, and then cut each beet into quarters and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine the lentils and 3 cups of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the water boils, reduce the heat to a low simmer, add the salt and olive oil and cook, uncovered, stirring every 5 minutes, for 15 minutes, or until the lentils are still firm and intact, but starting to be creamy inside.
Drain any excess water, stir in the vinegar and garam masala, remove the pot from the heat, and transfer the lentils to a bowl to cool. If desired, add more salt, oil, vinegar, or garam masala to taste, then transfer lentils to a serving dish, garnish with the beets and greens, and serve warm or cold.
Photography Maren Caruso