Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Beets and Goat’s Cheese and Plum Raspberry Crumble

by Kelly on August 11, 2009

My two-year-old loves beets and goat’s cheese. Really. He will ask for beets if you serve him goat’s cheese and will demand goat’s cheese if you serve him beets without it. He loved this meal, as did his parents. For a vegetarian meal to remember, simply omit the bacon. The crumble is another must-try recipe. The raspberries and plums are wonderful together.

Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Beets and Goat’s Cheese
adapted from Bobby Flay, Boy Meets Grill

3 lb (1.4 kg) fresh beets, washed and trimmed
olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
1 carrot, quartered
1 stalk celery, quartered
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cups (720 ml) chicken stock
2 cups (480 ml) water
1 1/2 cups (300 g) dried lentils
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 lb (110 g) slab bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely diced
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
4 cups frisée or mixed greens
2 oz (60 g) goat’s cheese

Begin by roasting the beets. Preheat the oven to 415°F (210°C). Coat the washed and trimmed beets lightly with oil. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven for about 1 hour, until cooked through. (I usually put 2 beets on each piece of foil.) Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then peel and slice into 1/4‑inch-thick slices.

While the beets roast, cook the lentils. Tie the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs together in cheesecloth. Place the chicken stock, water and cheesecloth bag in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the lentils, season with salt and pepper, and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and discard the cheesecloth bag of aromatics.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until lightly golden brown. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a dish lined with paper towels. Add the garlic and carrot to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked lentils and bacon to the pan and stir to combine. Stir in the chopped thyme and sherry vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

To assemble, place the greens in a large bowl, toss with half of the vinaigrette (recipe below), and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the roasted beets around the outside of 4 dinner plates. Divide the greens among each plate in the center. Top the greens with some of the warm lentils and crumble some goat’s cheese on top. Drizzle each salad with the remaining vinaigrette. Serve with a good baguette.

Sherry Vinaigrette

1/4 cup (60 ml) sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, thyme and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk until emulsified.

***

plum raspberry crumble

Plum Raspberry Crumble
adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten

Serves 8

2 lb (900 g) black plums, halved, pitted, and cut in 1‑inch wedges
2/3 cup (150 g) granulated sugar, divided
1 1/4 cups (140 g) all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 pint raspberries
1/3 cup (65 g) light brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (110 g) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup (50 g) quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup (35 g) sliced almonds, plus extra for sprinkling
ice cream or fresh whipped cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a large bowl, combine the sliced plums, 1/3 cup (75 g) of the granulated sugar, 1/4 cup (30 g) of the flour, and the orange juice and toss well. Add the raspberries and toss lightly. Pour into a 9 x 12 x 2‑inch baking dish.

For the topping, place the remaining 1 cup (110 g) of flour, the remaining 1/3 cup (75 g) of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, and the salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of peas. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the oats, and work it with your hands until it forms large crumbles. Add 1/2 cup (35 g) of the almonds and mix well.

Spread the topping evenly over the plums and raspberries, making sure the fruit is covered. Sprinkle with some extra almonds. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the fruit is tender and bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

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