Cook the Book: Lentils with Roasted Beets

Cook the Book: Lentils with Roasted Beets

[Photograph: Christopher Hirsheimer]

Beets and lentils are great friends. This week I decided to branch out from my usual beet salad and try this dish of Lentils with Roasted Beets from Canal House Cooking Volume No. 6 by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, mostly because I had all of the ingredients on hand.

What I was expecting was a hearty side that incorporated the sweet earthiness of beets with meaty little lentils; what I got was so much more. Sweet, savory, and totally earthy, especially when cooked with onion, garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. Whether you're serving this as a vegetarian main or just a side, the lentils and beets can be enjoyed hot, cold, or at room temperature.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Canal House Cooking Volume No. 6 to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from Canal House Cooking Volume No. 6 by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, copyright © 2011. Published by Canal House.

  • Yield:4 to 6
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour


  • 4 small beets
  • 1½ cups lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 small peeled onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped scallions or parsley for garnish


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 375°.

  2. 2.

    Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil
    and put them in a baking pan. Roast the beets until tender, about 1 hour.

  3. 3.

    While the beets roast, rinse the lentils in cold water. Put the lentils in a
    medium pot with 3 cups water, onion, garlic cloves, and bay
    leaf. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer
    until all the water has been absorbed and the lentils are tender, about 1 hour.
    Add more water if you need to. Use a slotted spoon to fish out the onion,
    garlic, and bay leaf. Remove the beets from the oven, unwrap, and when cool
    enough to handle, slip off the skins. Dice the beets, then add them to the len-
    tils. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle
    generously with a really good extra-virgin olive oil, and garnish with lots of
    chopped parsley and scallions.