Tuesday, May 19, 2015

From That, To This: Leek and Beet Salad

I think I have mentioned my obsession with beets as of late. It all began when I saw a photo for this recipe on pinterest. Leek and Beet Salad. It looked so great, I had to give it a try and oh man am I in love. I've changed some small things to make it more suitable for me and my housemates and thought I would share it here. It's seriously amazing. 
1 large beet
2 leeks
1 cup lentils

(Not Pictured)
olive oil
lemon juice
maple syrup
various spices for lentils

Preheat oven to 400°F. As always, begin by washing your vegetables. Peel and slice your beet into 1/2" thick pieces and chop leeks to about the same thickness. Place both vegetables on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the baking sheet into the over for 15-20 minutes or until the beets are cooked to your liking.

While the beets and leeks are in the oven, place 1 cup lentils into a pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. They will be done when the water is completely absorbed (like quinoa). This should take 10-15 minutes. Near the end of the cook time when there is only a little water left, I like to add spices to the lentils for extra flavor. I'm a fan of cumin, but also salt and pepper. Choose what you like and make them your own!

Next chop up kale (any variety that you prefer) and put it into a large bowl. Drizzle in about a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice and massage (yes, I sad massage) the greens. I know it sounds like a silly thing to do and possibly pointless, but massaging the kale really does make a difference to the taste. It cuts a little bit of the bitterness that raw kale has. 

By this point, your lentils and veggies are probably done and off the stove/out of the oven. Go ahead and mix the kale, lentils and veggies together.

For the dressing, I recommend the simple tahini based one that the original recipe suggests. It calls for tahini, maple syrup, lemon juice, and olive oil. I find salad dressings to be personal to tastebuds and usually eyeball them more so than use a strict recipe.

I also like to use more olive oil and less tahini than recommended. For my dressing, I use a 2:1 ratio of olive oil and tahini and little-by-little add the lemon juice and syrup along with some salt and pepper to taste. If I had to suggest amounts, I would probably say 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/8 cup tahini, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper. Again, I would test out your own ratios to find a taste that you enjoy. 

Add the dressing to the salad, mix it all up and enjoy!

If you decide to try it out, I'd love to hear what you think and how you added your own flair to the recipe. Feel free to comment or question!


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