A honey-sweetened dressing of orange juice infused with lavender lends floral notes to this lentil salad from author Kerri Conan. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2013 Heartland issue with the story Salad Social.
- 1 lb. medium beets, scrubbed clean
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups French le Puy lentils or green lentils
- 5 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 2 cups fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp. dried lavender
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Heat oven to 400°. Rub beets with 3 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper in an 8″-square baking dish and cover with foil; cook until tender, 1–1 1⁄2 hours. Let cool, then peel beets and finely chop; set aside.
- Bring lentils, bay leaves, and 4 cups of water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Drain, discarding liquid and bay leaves.
- Toast mustard seeds in a 10″ skillet over medium-high heat until they begin to pop, 1–2 minutes. Add juice; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add lavender; cook until juice is reduced to about 1⁄2 cup, 30–35 minutes. Strain into a large bowl, discarding lavender and seeds. Whisk in honey and remaining oil. Add beets, lentils, red onion, salt, and pepper; toss to combine.