Salads don't get the kind of love they deserve IMO. I mean, I get it, it's not chocolate cake after all, but, when done right, salads deserve more. And this raw beet salad with carrots deserves ALL the praise. This salad is loaded with raw beets, shredded carrots, sliced pear, spiced lentils and almonds and an easy lemony dressing. It's perfect for meal prep, spring lunches spent outside and sharing with those you love.
I can honestly say, I ate this salad for three days straight and didn't get sick of it. It's got texture, crunch and tons of flavour. And it may just turn a beet hater into a lover. Because of the added lentils, this can actually be a full meal too. Beets are a powerhouse of nutrition, naturally detoxifying in the body and are truly one of my favourite root veggies.
I love variety in salads so that each bite tastes different and delicious. You'll need 2 medium sized beets, peeled and finely shredded into matchsticks. One carrot, peeled and finely shredded and one pear (I like bosc), cut into matchsticks. As for the radish, I like using 2 small watermelon radishes for a pop of colour and variety.
The type of lentils you're going to want to use are french lentils. I prefer these as they are sturdier than others, making them perfect for salads like this.
The crunchy texture you get from spiced almonds makes a big difference. I use a similar method when making my french lentil and kale salad, which you can see here.
Lemon: you'll use fresh lemon juice and zest in the salad dressing which provides freshness and tartness.
EVOO: some extra virgin olive oil adds healthy fats.
Sherry Vinegar: for some added acidity, sherry vinegar is a great addition.
Maple Syrup: to balance the dressing and add a hint of sweetness, you'll need a drizzle of maple syrup.
The bets part about this raw beet salad is that you don't have to cook the beets, which let's be honest, can be a deterrent to making beets in the first place. They take forever to cook, and then peeling them after... it's not the most fun. So instead, were keeping the veggies raw, which makes things so easy!
First, peel your beets. Then slice them into thin matchsticks with a sharp knife. You can shred the beets if you prefer, but I personally like the texture and crunch from slicing them into thin matchsticks.
Next, shred your carrot and slice your pear into thin matchsticks as well. You can leave the peels on both if you want.
Add all of these ingredients into a large bowl and set them aside while you make the rest.
Once the lentils and almonds are done, toss in a large bowl with the dressing and fold in the mint and parsley.
Just like any other grain or bean, you'll want to give your lentils a rinse in water first. While you're rinsing them give them a quick look over to see if you need to pick out any shrivelled lentils, or anything that doesn't quite look right. Apparently, you can find little tiny stones in your packaged lentils! I've been eating lentils for a LONG time, and I've personally never encountered this. But it's good practice to pick them over, especially depending on where the lentils are sourced.
Once they're rinsed, go ahead and add them to a pot of salted boiling water.
Once the lentils are boiling, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes (depending on the type of lentil you're using). For the French lentils used in this recipe, cook them for about 23 to 25 minutes. Check on them to see if they're done cooking. Depending on how old the lentils are, they can take a bit longer to cook. You want them to still be firm on the outside.
Drain them and toss them with a drizzle of evoo and more salt if needed and set them aside.
This crunchy almond topper is SO good. I've used it in my french lentil and kale salad and I'm using it again here. There is so much flavour, and toasting your nuts and seeds really does make a difference in flavour, so I don't recommend skipping it. The oil used to toast your almonds makes for a delicious dressing, so don't worry about any of it going to waste!
In a skillet over medium-low heat, add extra virgin olive oil. Once hot, add the smashed garlic and cook while stirring for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the almonds and cook for an additional 3 minutes, until just slightly toasted. Add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and chili flakes and turn the heat off.
Place a small sieve over a small bowl and drain the nut mixture, reserving the oil for later. Place the almonds and spices on a paper towel lined plate and add a pinch of sea salt to them.
Alright, are you ready to make this delicious, meal prep friendly raw beet and carrot salad? Let's get to the recipe!
If you make this recipe, please let me know by tagging me on Instagram, or leave a comment and/or review below!
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Fresh and raw beet salad with carrots and lentils makes for a delicious meal-prep friendly meal that you can take anywhere.