Eat Seasonal: Beet Braised Lentils with Thyme and Apples

Fall comfort foods tend to have a reputation for being all kinds of rich and that is probably why we love them so, but today’s recipe proves that healthy can also be craveable.

We love our lentils around here and they make frequent appearances on the table in the vegetarian versions of Shepherd’s Pie and Sloppy Joes. They take on a satisfying meaty quality when cooked low and slow that makes them an ideal meatless main dish. Today’s braise is another perfect example.

I first intended this simple recipe as a side dish, but when topped with a quick slaw of julienned apple and tangy sauerkraut, I found it was everything I wanted for dinner.

Beet Braised Lentils with Thyme and Apple | Simple Bites #recipe #dinner #vegetarian #meatlessmonday

Adding shredded beets to the pot of lentils came about as yet another attempt to include vegetables in my kid’s dinner. They gave Creamy Cauliflower Capellini two thumbs up, as well as Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, so why not keep trying?

Unless they are baked into Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake, beets are a no-no for my boys, but fortunately the root vegetables meld into the braised lentils and pass unnoticed. They add a light sweeteness to the dish, as well as an earthiness that is exactly what you want in a big bowl of fall comfort food.

Beet Braised Lentils with Thyme and Apple | Simple Bites #recipe #dinner #vegetarian #meatlessmonday

Lately I’ve been adding saurkraut to everything.  This bowl of lentils joined the line-up, though I’m not convinced it needed the condiment. The fresh apple was a good call, for both texture and taste. And well, everything benefits from a little crumbled chevre. Leave off the goat cheese if you’d like to keep the recipe vegan, however.

Love beets? Give this Roasted Beet and Garlic Spaghetti a try for supper soon. And add these Chocolate Beet Molten Cakes to the weekend menu, while you are at it.

Beet Braised Lentils with Thyme and Apples
5.0 from 2 reviews
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Serves/Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup dried green, brown or French lentils (I used du Puy)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cooked beets, boiled or roasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 Honeycrisp or Russet apple
  • 1 cup sauerkraut (optional)
  • crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a heavy bottomed stovetop-to-oven pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Toss in minced garlic and thyme leaves. Cook for an additional minute, then pour in lentils and stock.
  4. Add the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, grate the beets on the large side of a box grater and add to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  5. When the lentils have reached the boiling stage, remove from heat and place in the middle rack of the oven. Cook for 50-60 minutes, or until lentils are tender. There will still be a little liquid, but it will be absorbed.
  6. Remove braised lentils from the oven; stir in the salt and vinegar. TAste and adjust seasoning to taste.
  7. Spoon into bowls. Top with grated or julienne apple, a spoonful of sauerkraut and a sprinkling of goat cheese. Enjoy at once.

october-seasonal-recipes

Eat Seasonal Recipe Round-Up: October

Apples, squash, pumpkin and Oh My! This month’s line up of recipes from our #EatSeasonal bloggers is guaranteed to inspire.

October_Eat Seasonal

Here’s wishing my fellow Canadians a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. This is such a lovely dish! Fall fantastic!!

  2. Love that you added apples to this recipe!!

  3. I’m not normally a lover of beets but these are gorgeous. I love the addition of apples and would gladly gobble this up!

  4. These are absolutely fantastic- I also want to add a big chunk of goat cheese to the top!

  5. Gorgeous recipe. Love that color!

  6. Such a genius idea!! Beets are one of my favorite vegetables. Love!!

  7. This sounds fantastic! I’m always a fan of recipes that add veggies in a way my girls will eat them, they’ve become a little more picky of late. =)

  8. This looks like ultimate comfort food, Aimee!!

  9. Perfect fall meal!

  10. Admittedly, I don’t normally think lentils are particularly elegant, but this is so elegant, Aimee!

  11. This is so pretty! I’m always looking for new ways to use beets, they are just so darn good. And goat cheese, not optional!

  12. My family is finally embracing lentils… and I’m loving what you did with the apples on top. I can see this as a family pleaser!

  13. I haven’t made lentils much but this may win me over to the little beans 🙂 Can’t wait to try it!

  14. Frederique says:

    just wow! I have to let you in on a secret: I cheated and made these in the crock pot while I was away at work, no roasting the onions, had only dried thyme on hand, no bay leaf and no chicken stock. I just added the dried Puy lentils, a chopped raw red onion, some dried thyme, the grated roasted beets ( I had cold golden beets in the fridge already roasted) and a tablespoon of aged mango balsamic with the water. 2 cups lentils to 5 cups water. Served warm after 10hrs on low with homemade sauerkraut, chopped Apple and radish sprouts, buttered gluten free toast and it was autumn bliss! Even my 4yrs old said mmmm mommy it’s good! THANK YOU! 🙂

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