Best Beet Lentil Salad Ever

Lentil Beet and Winter Squash Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette and Feta

This is one of the most delicious salads on the face of the earth- it’s an adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison, a fantastic chef.  I usually use a combination of organic baby beets: golden, red and Chioggia.

1 pound (or more) beets
1/2 winter squash (banana squash)
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
ground pepper to taste

1 cup French green or Russian black lentils (firm lentils are key)
2 carrots, diced
1 small onion, diced
bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c chopped parsley
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/2 cup crumbled feta
Lemon vinaigrette (2tbs lemon juice, 1 tsp grated lemon zest, 1 shallot, 6 tbs olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Peel the beets and banana squash and cut into 1/2″ chunks.  Toss with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and bake on a cookie sheet for 1/2 hour until tender. Meanwhile, cover lentils, carrots, onions and bay leaf and salt in a pot with water.  Bring to boil and then lower the heat and cook for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are just tender.  Drain. Spread mixture out on a cookie sheet to cool evenly.  When cool, combine with roasted veggies and vinaigrette.  Toss in parsley, cilantro and feta cheese.