Thursday, August 13, 2009

want some pink lentils with roasted beets?

i love creating recipes. usually, i am inspired by something...a write up in a magazine, a wonderful dish at a restaurant, fresh in-season produce at the farmer's never know when and where inspiration will strike. a few weeks ago i was inspired by color...and it all started with lentils...

o.k...even i realize how odd that sounds. but we spent a day at the coast...stinson beach to be exact and ...on the way home...we stopped at a produce stand located just off the road in sonoma. i stocked up on loads of locally and sustainably grown fruit and vegetables...and name basket was packed. then, just as i was heading to the check out, i saw the most beautiful pink color imaginable. when i checked it out i discovered it was pink lentils. i bought a big bag full...had no idea what i was going to do with them...but that color was too cool to pass up. what? my first thought was some type of salad...but after a bit of research, i realized that "colored" lentils get a bit soft when salad. i moved on to the idea of a warm dish prepared with a lot of different vegetables and i couldn't get the concept of beautiful, natural color out of my mind....i stared at all the vegetables i bought...separated everything by color..and...ta dah!!!...decided to create a dish using color as the unifying touch.

i had three bunches of baby beets...each bunch a different, purple and orange. i love roasted beets and thought about the pink lentils with the red, purple and orange beets...sold! then i added white garlic, orange carrots, ruby red cherry tomatoes, light green shallots, deep green chives, green extra virgin olive oil and burgundy colored balsamic vinegar to the ingredients gorgeous is that? even better... it sounded like it would taste delicious...there you go...mother nature at her that looks good...tastes good...and is incredibly good for you...home run!

i made the dish and...i must turned out as wonderful as i hoped. give it a try and please let me know what you think... i served mine with roast chicken and a green salad....what sounds good to you?

pink lentils with roasted beets
3 bunches organic beets (1 bunch of each, purple orange...beets 1-2 inches in diameter)
extra virgin olive oil
grey salt
2 c pink lentils
4 c water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 small carrot, diced
1 small package cherry tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
grey salt
freshly cracked pepper
2 tbsp snipped chives
photo process of preparing beets for roasting

roasted beets
preheat oven to 400 degrees. wash beets and cut off greens only...not the stems (save greens for another use...delicious sauteed in e.v.o.o. and stirred into pasta)

tear off 3 pieces of tin foil twice as large as size of 1 bunch of beets. place the trimmed red beets in the center of one piece of foil. drizzle with 2 turns of the olive oil. sprinkle with a pinch of grey salt. wrap the beets tightly in the foil to ensure no steam escapes. repeat process with the orange and purple beets. place on a rimmed baking sheet. roast in oven approx. 1 hour. test after 45 minutes by carefully opening one packet and piercing one beet with the point of a sharp knife. beets are ready when knife easily slides into beet.

allow beets to cool. cooked beets are really easy to peel. you just pull off the skin. be careful to peel over a bowl as beet juice can stain counter tops, wooden cutting boards and your clothing :)
place the lentils and water in medium saucepan and bring to a soft boil. reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. add garlic, shallot, carrots and tomatoes and cook an additional 5-10 minutes or until lentils are tender. remove from heat. stir in the prepared beets (cut larger ones in half), 4 tbsp e.v.o.o and 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar. season with additional grey salt and pepper to taste. (add additional oil and vinegar if lentils seem dry). top with the chives and serve immediately

have you ever created a dish based on color? what did you make? please tell us about it in the comments section of this post....

happy middle of summer everyone!



diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style"
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Suzanne said...

Sounds yummy! Now I will have to try to find the lentils. Can I make this with any type of lentils if I can't find the pink ones?

Anonymous said...

The lentils are beautiful

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi suzanne...thanks for your comment. yes, you can use any type of lentil. i think the green one will produce a less creamy dish...but that should not matter re. taste.... please let me know how yours turns out...


Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks anonymous :)