This is the perfect salad to take to a barbeque to impress a crowd, throw together on a weeknight or spend a couple of hours in the kitchen perfecting. For the quick version use canned lentils and baby beetroots, but for a more whole food approach cook your lentils and beets from scratch!
1 can of baby beets
1 can of brown lentils
200g of baby spinach leaves, washed
A couple of handfuls of finely shredded red cabbage
1 red capsicum finely sliced
1 lebanese cucumber sliced
1 small red onion finely sliced
1 punnet of alfalfa sprouts
1/3 cup of roughly chopped flat leaf parsely
1/2 cup of alfalfa sprouts
1/4 cup of capers, drained (and washed if you prefer the salted variety)
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
1/4 cup of raw cashews, soaked for four hours
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 clove of garlic roughly chopped
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of water
Salt and pepper
Prepare dressing first by placing all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and adjust seasoning to taste. If it looks to thick thin out with a little more water.
If you have a high powered blender you don't even need to soak your cashews. Once blended until smooth set aside while assembling your salad.
Whole Food Method
First prepare lentils, having soaked overnight or for six hours, by placing in a heavy based saucepan with a couple of bay leaves and bringing to a boil, then simmering until tender. Drain and set aside. While the lentils are simmering cut fresh beets up into bite sized pieces and bake in a foil covered tray with a splash of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasoning for about an hour, until fork tender. You can keep your lentils and beets warm for a warm salad, or allow to cool for a cold salad.
For extra flavour toast your seeds as well.
Rinse and drain lentils and set aside.
Drain canned baby beetroots, cut up into quarters and set aside.
Toss together salad vegetables and plate up onto plates.
Drizzle with creamy cashew dressing and top with lentils, sliced beetroot, seeds and capers.