Beet and Lentil Salad with Feta and Fried Eggs

This main dish salad hits all the points a vegetarian looks for: earthy from lentils, sweet from beets and a touch of caramelized fennel, creamy and tangy from feta, rich and filling from a topping of fried eggs. [Photograph: Lauren Rothman]

About the author: Lauren Rothman is a former Serious Eats intern, a graduate student of journalism, and an obsessive chronicler of all things culinary. Try the original recipes on her blog, For the Love of Food, and follow her on Twitter @Lochina186.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

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Beet and Lentil Salad with Feta and Fried Eggs

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 to 8 as a side
Active time:25 minutes
Total time:45 minutes
This recipe appears in: Vegetarian: Beet and Lentil Salad with Feta and Fried Eggs

Ingredients

  • For the Salad:
  • 4 medium or 3 large beets, rinsed and halved lengthwise, greens rinsed and reserved
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups French green lentils, rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • 1 small fennel bulb, core removed, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • For the Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill leaves

Procedures

  1. 1

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Place halved beets in a small baking dish and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange beets cut side-down and roast until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

  2. 2

    For the Salad: Place lentils and water in a medium pot along with a large pinch of salt. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer. Cook until lentils are done but still al dente, 30 to 35 minutes. Drain lentils and spread them out in a large bowl to cool.

  3. 3

    Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden brown and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Chop beet greens, add to skillet and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 8 minutes more. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper, then scrape mixture into bowl with lentils. Wipe out the skillet.

  4. 4

    When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut them into a large dice. Add beets to bowl with lentils.

  5. 5

    For the Dressing: in a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, honey and salt and pepper to taste. Stream in olive oil, then stir in dill. Add dressing to beets and lentils and stir gently to coat. Turn salad onto a serving platter and scatter feta on top.

  6. 6

    Fry eggs: heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in in the cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Crack one egg at a time into a small bowl, then into pan to fry. Cook, swirling pan so hot oil bastes the tops of the eggs, until egg yolks are barely set, about 4 minutes. Using a thin spatula, transfer fried eggs to top of plated salad and serve immediately.

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