Lentils with Beetroot Leaf Chimichurri By Chef Tom Hunt
I’ve always loved the combination of lentils, beetroots and cheese together. They compliment each other flavour-wise (earthy lentils, sweet beetroot and sour cheese) but also nutritionally provide a protein and vitamin-rich meal.
This is a fun way to cook beetroots which intensifies the flavour making them sweet and jammy on the inside. Once they are charred on the outside and soft in the middle, peel off the burnt exterior to reveal the flavoursome core.
I’ve created this recipe in partnership with LegumeChef, a campaign raising awareness of the benefits of legumes. Legumes improve soil fertility, enriching it with beneficial soil bacteria and nitrogen. They require much less water and fertiliser to grow than other proteins and can make you feel full and lose weight, as well as reduce bad cholesterol. So enjoy this meal knowing you are benefiting both soil and gut health.
Find out more at legumechef.com
- For the beetroot chimichurri
- 40g beetroot leaves or and parsley
- 2 tsp of dried or fresh oregano
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- Pinch dried chilli flakes
- 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 bunch beetroots with leaves
- 240g cooked, green lentils
- 100g feta or goat cheese
To make the root green chimichurri: stack the leaves neatly together, remove any woody stalks then very finely chop the rest from stem to leaf. Mix with the other ingredients and season to taste. The chimichurri will keep in the fridge for a week or two.
To barbecue the beetroots: light the charcoal or wood in advance and wait for the coals to turn white before cooking on them. Place the beetroots on the edge of the fire in the dying coals away from direct heat to cook slowly for about 40-60 minutes or until they begin to soften. Test them by pressing them or by testing their internal temperature with a probe. Once they reach 85C they are cooked.
Once cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin off the beetroots then cut them into random geometric shapes. Finely chop any remaining beetroot leaves and stir through the cooked green lentils with chimichurri, to taste, then transfer into a serving bowl. Top with crumbled feta or goat cheese and the beetroot. Dress with a little more chimichurri and serve.