Posts Tagged ‘polenta’

r o a s t b e e t s & a s p a r a g u s s a l a d

June 9, 2011

This is one of my favourite recipes – adapted from Bill Granger’s ‘Bill’s Sydney Food’ book – and I’ve been making it for years. It’s a great veggie option to impress your friends with at a dinner party in the warmer months. For a vegan alternative, swap the goats cheese for some griddled polenta. Easy to make and fuss free, but looks impressive and tastes amazing. I can’t think of a better combination than beetroot, asparagus, and goats cheese.

 

 

L E N T I L S A L A D

500g dried puy lentils

extra virgin olive oil

lemon juice

6-8 vine tomatoes

1 large red onion

2 cloves garlic

bunch fresh mint leaves

maldon sea salt

cracked black pepper

 

R O A S T E D B E E T R O O T

6-9 raw beetroot

balsamic vinegar

maldon sea salt

extra virgin olive oil

 

A N D

2 bunches asparagus

2 rounds of goats cheese

small handful fresh mint leaves

 

Firstly, get your oven nice and H O T , about 210°C.

Wash your beetroot, and top and tail them to get rid of the stalk and straggly bits. Halve each beetroot. Drizzle a R O A S T I N G tray with plenty of olive oil. Then place the beetroot in the tray and brush with enough oil to make sure they’re covered. Sprinkle with maldon, and drizzle a bit of balsamic over them. Put in the oven for 40-60 minutes, turning them over half way through. If they look like they’re shriveling up a bit, or drying out, just cover the tray in foil for the last 20 minutes and that will prevent them burning and it keeps the moisture in. Once cooked, remove from oven and leave on the side til needed.

M E A N W H I L E , dice your tomatoes, chop your onions finely and chuck both into a large bowl. Chop a handful of mint leaves and add to the bowl.

Wash your lentils in a sieve or colander and them chuck them in a saucepan with cold water, enough to cover them a few inches. Put on a medium/high heat and get to the boil. Then S I M M E R for roughly 20 minutes. You don’t want them to be soft or mashable, they need to be tender enough, but still keeping a firm shape. Once cooked, strain, rinse and add to the large bowl.

In a jug make a dressing with lemon juice and the extra virgin olive oil. I generally use 1 parts lemon to 2 or 3 parts oil. Say, 50ml lemon juice and 150ml olive oil. Add finely diced garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Give it a good W H I S K with a fork and pour enough dressing over the lentils to coat the salad well (pretty much all of it!). Mix well with a big spoon!

Prepare your asparagus, by snapping off the woody ends. Cook your asparagus however you fancy. I prefer to steam mine for about 3-4 minutes over some boiling water. Once cooked, run some cold water over them to prevent them wilting.

You’re almost there! It’s just the A S S E M B L Y part from here.

Line up your plates and put a good couple of S P O O N F U L S of the lentil salad on the center of each plate. Place some asparagus (3-5) on the salad; then arrange about 3 slices of goats cheese across the asparagus in a line. Top with 3 pieces of roasted beetroot (it becomes a balancing exercise at this point!) and decorate with a few fresh mint leaves.

It’s nice when the beetroot is still warm and starts to melt the goats cheese underneath. I always make enough lentil salad and beetroot so there’s some leftover, it’s great for lunch the next day.

Serves 4