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This is a great main dish salad; the unusual combination really works! It is healthy, satisfying, and lovely to look at. From the magazine, "Food & Wine".
- 4 small beets (3/4 pound)
- 1⁄4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground fennel
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup red lentil (7 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 6 ounces arugula, leaves torn into bite-size pieces (1 large bunch)
- 2 1⁄2 ounces feta cheese, preferably French, crumbled (1/2 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Wrap the beets in foil and roast them for about 45 minutes, or until tender; let cool. Peel the beets and cut them into wedges.
- In a medium skillet, heat the grapeseed oil until shimmering. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cumin and fennel seeds and cook just until fragrant. Remove from the heat and whisk in the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
- Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook just until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the lentils and transfer to a bowl. Toss the lentils with half of the vinaigrette and let cool. Stir in the parsley.
- Toss the arugula and beets with the remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Mound the salad on dinner plates and spoon the lentils on top. Garnish with the feta and serve.