Spiced beetroot, dark lentil and ricotta salad

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Spiced beetroot, dark lentil and ricotta salad

Main Serves 2 1h 10 min
Cooking the beetroot like this may seem a bit of a faff , but it doesn't need too much attention until you reduce the liquid, plus you get your veg and your dressing from one pot. Scrub them well to avoid any earth or grit settling in the pan.


  • 4 beetroot, skin-on but well scrubbed
  • 200ml cider vinegar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 4 star anise
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tin dark lentils, drained
  • 120g ricotta, goat's or sheep's cheese
  • 100g watercress, washed
  • handful walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 1h
  • Step 1

    Put the beetroot in a small pan with the vinegar, sugar and spices. Remove 2 generous strips of zest from the orange with a veg peeler and add those to the pan, too. Top the pan up with water until the beetroot are just covered and add a pinch of sea salt. Bring to simmer and cook for about 40 minutes or until tender to a knife tip.
  • Step 2

    Remove the beets, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid furiously until you have a glossy, sweet syrup. Peel the beets and cut into wedges, mix with the lentils and watercress and dress well with the syrup.
  • Step 3

    Garnish with crumbled cheese and chopped nuts. A little chopped tarragon or parsley works well too.

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