- 2 1/2 cups French lentils (also called Puy lentils)
- About 1 dozen (1 large bunch) medium-small carrots, with their tops on
- About 1 dozen (2 large bunches) medium-small beets
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (whatever you have on hand: basil, chives, or parsley)
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot tops
- Grated zest of one organic lemon
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- For Eggless Aioli:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- Fresh-squeezed juice of one large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Remove the leafy tops from the carrots and beets. Reserve the carrot tops. (Beet greens can also be kept as they are extremely nutritious and delicious). Wash and scrub the carrots and beets, removing any soil, leaving their skins on. Place the whole carrots and beets in a large French oven or enamelled iron pot and mix in the 2 tbsp. olive oil, fully coating the vegetables in oil.
- In a 375 F oven, roast the vegetables for about 30 to 45 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork. If you wish, once the beet are cool enough to handle, you can remove the skins from the beets by gently rubbing them off with your fingers.
- Meanwhile, rinse the lentils and check them for small pebbles, then place them in a medium saucepan. Cover them with water and bring to a boil.
- Simmer on medium heat, uncovered, for about 30 to 40 minutes, until tender but not falling apart or turning mushy. (Add water if necessary through the cooking). Drain the lentils and place them in a large shallow serving bowl.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the garlic, lemon juice, and salt to make the aioli. Add the olive oil and puree until thick and opaque and no chunks of garlic remain. Pour this mixture over the lentils. Add the chopped carrot tops, chopped herbs, and grated lemon zest and toss it all together. Season with a bit of salt and pepper if you wish.
- Place the roasted carrots and beets on top, then crumble the feta all around. Serve warm or cold.
Yield: 6-8 servings