Warm Roasted Beetroot, Carrot, Lentil and Goats Cheese Salad with Dill Hazelnut Pesto

25 Oct

This salad started with these beautiful organic beetroot & carrots from the market.

It’s the colours that I love, and their rusticness or is that rusticity? I couldn’t resist them anyway and wanted them both to star in something lovely. Something where they were roasted to bring out their natural sweetness.

The warm mellow sweetness of beetroot is always perfectly enhanced by the cool sharpness of a mature goat’s cheese. Enter an extremely mature goats cheese that a friend of mine Jeanne bought when we went to the Luna Mora festival in Guaro this September.

She very kindly gave me a huge wedge of it to try a few days later. I think she just wanted to get it out of her fridge to be honest, it is very stinky, but very good.

Luna Mora is held every September in the small Andalucian village of Guaro.

The festival of Luna Mora which translates as The Festival of the Moorish Moon is a celebration of Andalucia’s Muslim, Christian and Jewish history. There are colourful performance artists and hundreds of stalls line the narrow streets giving it a souk vibe. Tourists and locals flock to enjoy the spectacle and ambience.

The festival is held over two weekends and when night falls, the streets are illuminated by over 20,00 candles and lantern. It really is an unforgettable sight that creates an extremely special atmosphere and explains why nearly 50,000 people visit this festival every year.

For more information on The Festival of Luna Mora, and other things to do and places to visit in the spectacular province of Andalucia have a look at The Andalucia Diary. Andrew knows all there is to know about what to do and where to stay as well as having a beautiful holiday cottage to rent in the village of Guaro itself with breathtaking views of the Sierra de las Nieves.

So back to the food and the smelly goats cheese. This is actually two recipes merged together. Warm Roasted Vegetable & Lentil Salad from Alli at Pease Pudding and Puy Lentil Salad with Goats Cheese, Beetroot & Dill Vinaigrette from My Little Paris Kitchen.

Dill and beetroot are another classic combination that works so well. Even if you think you don’t like dill you have to try this. Dill is now my new favourite herb. I used to loathe it. But since working over the summer with an Iranian family I learnt a lot of new Persian dishes that I will be sharing shortly. And they put dill in everything, I love it.

I changed the dill vinaigrette to a pesto to make it a bit more robust and less of a salad really. It’s beautiful with hazelnuts, quite sweet but you could use walnuts or almonds, whatever you like.

Warm Roasted Beetroot & Lentil Salad with Goats Cheese & Dill Hazelnut Pesto

Serves 2-3, vegetarian, gluten-free.

  • 200 g beetroot, peeled & cut into small wedges
  • 200 g carrots, peeled & cut into batons/wedges
  • olive oil
  • salt & black pepper
  • fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the prepared vegetables on two lined baking sheets (keep the carrots separate from the beetroot or they will turn pink too) drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper & thyme leaves, toss to coat and roast for about 25 minutes or until soft to the point of a knife. Depending on the size, the carrots may be cooked before the beetroot.

  • 250 g dried Puy lentils (they hold their shape when cooked and taste delicious)
  • 1 bay leaf
  •  1 sprig of thyme
  • 500 ml veg stock
  • salt & black pepper

Wash the lentils under cold water then put them in a sauce pan with the stock, bay leaf, thyme, salt & black pepper.  Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, partially covered, or until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Then drain and discard the bay leaf & thyme. Meanwhile make the dill pesto.

  • a handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • a small handful of toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • a squeeze of honey (1 /2 tsp to start with)
  •  a squeeze of lemon
  • salt & black pepper
  • olive oil
  • about 150 g goats cheese

Blend the  dill, vinegar, hazelnuts, lemon juice, honey, salt & pepper with a good glug of olive oil until you get a chunky pesto consistency. Taste and add more salt, honey, lemon juice as required. I like it quite sweet , it works nicely with the dill.

Pile some warm lentils on a plate and top with the warm roasted vegetables, pieces of goats cheese and drizzle over the dill pesto. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a few sprigs of dill.

Buen Provecho!!

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10 Responses to “Warm Roasted Beetroot, Carrot, Lentil and Goats Cheese Salad with Dill Hazelnut Pesto”

  1. Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere October 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Beautiful salad. I love the combination of flavors you have here.

  2. Marianne October 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Wonderful colours, Natalie :) This dish looks delicious.

  3. peasepudding October 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Looks delicious Nat and I love the sound of the stinky goat cheese.

  4. frugalfeeding October 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Exceptional – i love roasted vegetables :D

  5. swjede October 25, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    Looks like a beautiful day! Can’t wait to make this dish. Thank you!

  6. Kim Bee October 26, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    This is absolutely gorgeous. I love when food is not only tasty but pretty.

  7. Sara October 27, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    Love this recipe! We just got a big bunch of carrots and some beets in our CSA this week, so this recipe looks totally perfect for this weekend! :)

  8. Tammy October 27, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    This is my kind of winter meal.

  9. Three Well Beings October 28, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    I would really enjoy witnessing this festival, Natalie. It looks lively and very enjoyable. The cheese is a beauty, too. It looks quite different from the goat’s cheese I purchase, and I think it must be the difference in maturity, something I’ve never previously noticed. The combination of all the ingredients is really special. I will shortly be receiving beetroot in my farmer’s boxes. I’ll look forward to it. :-)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Scandinavian Beetroot Fritters with Horseradish Dill Yoghurt Sauce « Cook Eat Live Vegetarian - January 28, 2013

    [...] These caught my eye because they contain three ingredients that, for me are (or used to be) quite challenging. I didn’t used to like beetroot at all now I love it especially in this Beetroot Hummus. Dill used to be my least favourite herb, I never used it and avoided it wherever possible. Now, thanks to a few weeks in the summer cooking for an Iranian family who use dill in and on everything, I love that too. It’s brilliant with beetroot as in this Roasted Beetroot Salad with Dill Hazelnut Pesto. [...]

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