Puy Lentil and Roasted Beetroot Salad

The allotment is a sorry sight this time of year. A few cabbages sitting amongst the weeds seem to be keeping the mice fed through the long nights and the purple sprouting is a favourite for the pigeons. I did however manage to salvage the last of the beetroot before the slugs got to them.

This is a simple dish and in the style of Nigel Slater and Hugh FW, it just uses things that work well together. Earthy beetroot and puy lentils, sweetness from the tomatoes and pesto and the creamy coolness of the mozarella.

Makes enough for 2 for lunch or 3-4 as a starter.

3-4 handfuls puy lentils
vegetable stock
½ red pepper – finely diced
3 spring onions – finely sliced
handful fresh coriander – roughly chopped
3-4 beetroot
125g mozarella – buffalo of cow
3-4 ripe tomatoes – cut into quarters
1 tablespoon pesto
4-5 tablespoons olive oil

Put the lentils in a pan, cover with stock, bring to the boil then simmer for approx 20 minutes until tender but still retaining their shape.

Drizzle the beetroot with a little olive oil then roast in the overn at 200C for 30-45 minutes depending on their size until the are soft are the skin has blistered.

While the lentils and beetroot are cooking put the peppers, tomatoes, coriander and spring onions in a large bowl.

Drain the lentils and add to the bowl. Mix well and season with salt.

When the beetroot is done, allow to cool a little the remove the skins and cut cut into dice.

Mix the pesto and olive oil to make the dressing.

To assemble, place the lentil mixture in the centre of a large plate. Arrange the beetroot on top, then add torn pieces of mozarella. Finally drizzle the pesto dressing over the top.

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