Healthy Lentil and Beetroot Salad With Citrus Dressing

Updated on February 23, 2018
Glenis Rix profile image

Glenis has been chief cook and bottlewasher in her home for over forty years. Nowadays she prefers to cook food which is quick and healthy

Citrus-infused lentil salad with halloumi cheese
Citrus-infused lentil salad with halloumi cheese

Beetroot and Lentil Salad with Citrus Dressing

This super-quick salad has a wonderful citrus tang. It's based on lentils, which are rich in fibre, protein, and iron, and very low in fat. There are several varieties of lentil: red, yellow, green, brown, and Le Puy. The latter are grown in the Puy region of France. They retain their shape when cooked, and they have the best flavour. Consequently, they are more expensive than other varieties. But they are the best for this recipe; although I have sometimes used green lentils (red and yellow lentils are best reserved for soups, as they cook down to a puree). Beetroot is added to the salad. It claims to be a superfood that can help to reduce blood pressure, aid sports performance, and protect against dementia. I normally use dried lentils, which are very cost-effective, but they are also available in tins or in vacuum packs. On busy days, I pop a pack of ready-to-eat lentils into the microwave oven. I normally open a vacuum pack of beetroot for speed and convenience, but I sowed a couple of rows of beetroot seed in my raised vegetable bed this year and look forward to enjoying the harvest during the summer months.

The weights given in the following recipe make four generous portions.

Ingredients for Citrus-Infused Lentil Salad with Beetroot
Ingredients for Citrus-Infused Lentil Salad with Beetroot | Source

Ingredients for Citrus-infused Lentil Salad

  • 100 g lentils - Puy or green (dry weight)
  • 1 clove of garlic or 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • Half a lemon
  • Half an orange
  • 50 g cooked beetroot
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Black pepper and salt
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley

Recipe for Citrus-Infused Lentil Salad

  1. Put the juice of half an orange, or of a whole satsuma, into a bowl with half a lemon and the zest of the fruits. (Try to buy unwaxed fruit; it's much easier to grate.)
  2. Finely chop 1 shallot (or the equivalent amount of red onion, spring onion [scallion], or mild white onion) and add to the fruit juices.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Mix the dressing well.
  5. Place the lentils in a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them to a depth of about 7.6 cm (3 inches).
  6. At this point, you might choose to add further flavour to the lentils by popping a clove of garlic or a bay leaf into the pan.
  7. Bring the pan to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for around 20-25 minutes until the lentils are soft. (If necessary, add more water to the pan to ensure that the lentils stay covered).
  8. Drain the lentils into a bowl.
  9. Pour the citrus onto the hot lentils and leave for a while for the lentils to absorb the flavours of the dressing.
  10. Meanwhile, chop 125 g of cooked beetroot. Add it to the lentil mixture.
  11. Add a generous handful of flat leaf parsley leaves to the salad.
  12. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and salt.

Serving Suggestions for Citrus-Infused Lentil Salad

This salad makes a light lunch without any further additions. Serve a good bread on the side, if liked. For a more substantial lunch, I like to add chunks of feta cheese, which marries well with the beetroot, to the salad. Alternatively try it with smoked mackerel, grilled halloumi cheese, a salmon steak, or cold roast chicken.

Citrus-Infused Lentil and Beetroot Salad with Salmon and salad leaves
Citrus-Infused Lentil and Beetroot Salad with Salmon and salad leaves

Health Benefits of Lentils

Professor Jimmy Bell, of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College, London has advised that we eat more lentils, as the inulin (a form of insoluble fibre) that they contain can help to dispel the dangerous and invisible visceral fat that can collect around the internal organs, particularly in post-menopausal women.

5 stars for Citrus Infused Lentil Salad

What Professor Jimmy Bell Told Angela Rippon About the Benefits of Lentils

Nutritional Content of a 25 g Serving of Puy Lentils (Dry)

5 mg
175 mg
Total Carbohydrate
12 g
15 g
Puy Lentils
Puy Lentils | Source

Benefits of Beetroot

Beetroot can make a valuable contribution to your five-a-day as it contains potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants and soluble fibre.

© 2017 GlenR


Submit a Comment

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 7 weeks ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    Lentils are my favorite food. I do not eat meat and salads such as this satisfy any cravings I may have. I'm eager to try beetroot and will pick some up tomorrow. The video is excellent. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 9 months ago from The Caribbean

    What do you know? I've got all the ingredients. Will try this later today. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Glenis Rix profile image

    GlenR 9 months ago from UK

    Bill, I had heard that Real Men Don't Eat Quiche (in fact there's a book on the subject). Didn't know they don't eat lentils either. Tough luck for my son because that's what he will be presented with at dinner time this evening.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

    I'm not a lentil kind of guy, but I'll pass this along to my wife, who will appreciate it.

  • Glenis Rix profile image

    GlenR 9 months ago from UK

    Mary, since watching the Angela Rippon show I have been adding insulin to my breakfast cereal, in addition to eating more lentils. The inulin has no flavour and so is undetectable in food. I'm don't know if it has had the desired effect, but it's not doing any harm.

  • Spanish Food profile image

    Lena Durante 9 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

    Yum. This looks like perfect summer food. I adore a good beetroot salad, especially with the brightness of citrus. Lentils are ideal to throw into almost any salad to make it more filling, but I can imagine this combination is especially good.

  • Blond Logic profile image

    Mary Wickison 9 months ago from Brazil

    This is a salad I will try. The addition of citrus will really give it zing.

    That was a very interesting video about the powder. Not only was Angela Rippon surprised by her results, I was as well. She is so active and I thought in great shape. At least now she knows and is going to do something about it.