© 2014 Can Caramelo

Lentil & Beet Salad…

…with a creamy pear & ginger dressing
The other day I realized I still don’t have even one salad recipe on the blog, while salad surely is what I eat most. Salad is my fast food. Whenever there are no leftovers from dinner to take for lunch to work, I’ll quickly throw together a salad. And sometimes even if there are leftovers, I prefer a salad. By adding rice/ lentils/ cheese/ nuts/ seeds/ grilled vegetables/ quinoa I make it filling enough (more often than not I add a combination of several of these ingredients, and then I find myself struggling with closing the lunch box over a huge mountain of salad. Luckily, over time I’ve become quite experienced and by now I consider myself a professional salad squeezer).

Lentil & beet salad plate
I’m usually quite hungry at lunchtime and sometimes think the salad might not be enough. But then, when I open the box and put the content on a plate, it magically seems to triplicate it’s volume and I don’t have to fear no more. A good thing about salad is that I don’t feel like I need a siesta after lunch, but can go on working (most of the times… and for emergency days, when my eyes don’t follow my orders and keep shutting, there is this acoustically shielded room with a very comfortable reclinable armchair in which we do the electroencephalography experiments and which is just perfect for a 10-20min nap – oops, I tend to forget my boss subscribed to my e-mail list).

lentil and beet salad half
So salad is definitely one of my favorite main dishes and I also make simple green salads as a side with almost everything else. I just love when the salad dressing gets mingled with the rest of the food (whenever somebody wants to give me an extra plate for my salad I pretend that would be too much cleaning afterwards). There will definitely be many more salad recipes in the future. But now to this lentil & beet salad. You can use canned lentils (the speedy option) or cook them (that’s much cheaper and you can do it ahead and use them in different dishes throughout the week). The lentils provide proteins and add a nice earthy taste that combines very well with the crunchy beetroot slices and the fresh fennel, while the cranberries round it up with their sour-sweetness. And because that is still not enough for me: avocado for creaminess and pumpkin seed for an extra crunch. And everything tossed in a dressing with sweet pear and spicy ginger. I’m starting to want to make it again…

lentils and beet salad green

Serves 2.


• 1 cup cooked lentils (I used dupuy lentils)
• 2 handful red oak leaf lettuce
• 1 small beetroot
• 1/2 small fennel
• 1 avocado
• 1/2 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

For the dressing:

• 1/2 ripe pear
• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar/ apple cider vinegar/ lime juice
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon salt
• freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 knob of ginger, grated

If you cook your lentils, rinse them before, then cover them with water, add 2 bay leaves and simmer until the lentils are almost soft (around 20 minutes), then add salt or vegetable broth and cook for 5 more minutes. Drain the lentils. You can use them warm for the salad or let them cool down, both tastes great. Tear the lettuce in smaller pieces and put them into the salad bowl. Add the lentils. Peel the beetroot (normal beetroot works just as fine as this beautiful fuchsia colored striped beet I found on the market this week) and use a vegetable peeler to obtain thin slices. Chop the fennel in slices and add it. Peel and slice the avocado, chop the parsley and add both. Sprinkle the cranberries and pumpkin seeds over the salad.

For the dressing, blend all the ingredients until smooth. Try it and adjust to taste.


  1. Posted 17 Apr ’14 at 10:14 pm | #


  2. Posted 18 Apr ’14 at 5:47 am | #

    Thanks Felipe 😉

  3. Posted 26 Apr ’14 at 7:26 pm | #

    This looks great! The pear dressing is an intriguing combo.

  4. Posted 29 Apr ’14 at 6:49 am | #

    Thanks Mila! I hope you enjoy it!

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