Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lentils with Beets and Goat Cheese

There are lots of things I love about participating in a CSA farm share: it arrives each week encouraging us to eat lots of vegetables, pushes us to try new and different things, and makes us get creative to find new ways to prepare vegetable overload. One down side is that I don't know the names of all of our loot. For example, we have gotten several beets each week for the last several weeks. When we pick them out of the bin (simply labeled beets)they are all lightly coated in dirt, and it is hard to tell what color they are. It is not until you are at home scrubbing them clean that their color is revealed. Are yellow beets simply called "yellow beets" or do they have another name? Are red beets just called "beets"? I did a quick internet search that was not very fruitful. I know the stripped ones are chioggia, but my knowledge ends there.

We made a simple dinner from lentils, carrot tops, goat cheese and yellow and red beets. I have made this before, and it is always satisfying. Here is the recipe from last time. This time we used some carrot tops we had on-hand. I had never really eaten carrot tops until recently. I always felt bad throwing them out, but I wasn't sure what to do with them. When I read about carrot top pesto over at Not Eating Out in New York it inspired me to change my ways. Carrot tops have a taste that are somewhere between parsley and carrots, and they add a nice fresh flavor to the peppery lentils, tangy sauce, sweet beets and creamy cheese.

Lentils with Beets and Goat Cheese

3 C chicken stock
1 c lentils
4 beets
3 T balsamic vinegar
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 t Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
handful of carrot tops, chopped
goat cheese

Check the lentils for stones, rinse, and add to the chicken stock. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender (15 - 60 minutes depending on the type of lentils). Meanwhile, scrub the beets. Place them in a sauce pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, and cook until a fork can easily pierce the beets. Remove from water and let cool. Add the vinegars, mustard, garlic and carrot tops to the lentils. Once the beets are cool, use a spoon to peel the beets. Cut into bit size slices, and add to the lentil mixture. Serve them with goat cheese crumbled on the top.

I found that the yellow beets cooked much faster than the red ones, so check on them periodically to prevent over cooking.

This post is part of Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade, Grocery Cart Challenge, Frugal Friday, and Finer Things Friday.


Lazaro Cooks said...

Lovely dish. It's the color that first grabs you. I love lentils and the combination of the beets and goat cheese sounds perfect.

I am posting a lentil dish tomorrow, we must have been on the same wavelength.

Unknown said...

I love the beet and goat cheese combination! Love lentils too! Never heard of carrot tops but now I have so THANKS! A beautiful healthy dish!(Good tip too regarding the cooking time of the yellows!)

Merut said...

Alright, I'm embarrassed to admit that I had lentils for the first time ever last night (pretty decent). But I cannot stand the texture or taste of beets. I don't know if I am brave enough for this dish, but the picture looks great!

Melodie said...

This is very similar to what a friend of mine makes except she uses turnips and watercress in hers.SInce I don't like goat cheese I use cow feta. Lentils are so versatile. I love them!

Diana H said...

I'm not a good beet eater, but I know some of the prejudice comes from thinking that it was cranberry sauce when I ate it. When you are expecting sweet, the beet just is so wrong at that moment. I'm going to try beets again, because I know they're good for you and I think I can figure out a way they'll work for me. Maybe with lentils and goat cheese would work.

City Share said...

I know beets can be tricky. I never used to like beets growing up. I thought they tasted like dirt and the texture was wierd, but I think we also ate canned beets. I think beets taste the best when they are sliced in thin and baked. Drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle them with kosher salt, and cook them until they are starting to brown (400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes). The results might convert you to a beet lover. :)

Couscous & Consciousness said...

I love beets and this dish looks great. I have a recipe from a Marie Claire book for a warm roasted beet salad with puy lentils, goats cheese and walnuts, that I make all the time. I think beets just seem to go so perfectly with lentils that I'm going to try this recipe for sure.

Duane4ta said...

I too, looove Beets....I've even been known to thinly shred them raw & toss 'em in a Salad....Delicious..

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