Foodie Guest Post: Feast with Sophie!

So hello there! We are safely back in the US and slowly adapting to American life (and jet lag)! We had a horrendous travel day back to the States but will have to explain that another day because today, I have an absolutely gorgeous guest post to share with you! I have followed Sophie's travel blog ever since I found out we were moving to England and now that she has ventured into food blogging and I am obsessed. Seriously. Please go take a gander at her Instagram and the drooling will begin! But anyway, I'll let her explain a little more....

Hello everyone! My name is Sophie and I am a Canadian expat living in the Netherlands. I'm a newbie food blogger over on FeastwithSophie.com, where I post vegetarian recipes like the one I'm sharing today! You can also find me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat (username feastwithsophie).

I can be a huge glutton and can do real damage if left with a pizza or anything in a butter sauce. But! I also absolutely love fresh produce. And I think those two facets of myself are reflected in my recipes. I aim to make delicious food that highlights all of the goodness that nature has to offer us - but, also, butter. This lentil salad with beetroot, nectarine, and goat's cheese is a pretty typical representation of the recipes I love to play with in my kitchen.

But before I get on with the food: thank you Jamie for having me on The Healthy Passport!




I won't lie: the first time I put this together, I was mainly after the colour (Instagram problems) - the fact that it all worked so well together was a sort of happy bonus. The salad is wonderfully hearty and very satisfying because of the lentils and the beetroot, but also packs a lot of contrasting flavour and texture. The red onion and the radish bring some crunch and some subtle spice; the nectarine lends its sweetness to the dish; the goat's cheese is creamy and salty; and the dill just brightens everything right up. And it all comes together in just as much time as it takes to cook the lentils.


 Lately I am all about throwing stone fruits into my salads. The peaches and nectarines in particular just look so irresistible at the grocery store that I can't help myself... it's a compulsion! I used nectarine in this salad, but you could easily swap in peaches, or even plums or cherries - anything sweet and juicy that will brighten up the earthiness of the beetroot and the lentils.


Until fairly recently, I actually didn't care for either beetroot or dill. On occasion I would buy some beets and promise myself that I'd pop them into a salad or something, and then they would inevitably end up perishing in the depths of my fridge, tucked away behind more ostentatious produce. As for dill: I wouldn't even go near the stuff. And now, suddenly, I'll all about both of them! I suppose it's all part of maturing... which would be fine and dandy if it didn't come with rapidly multiplying forehead wrinkles and a sudden inability to learn to use new technology. (I legitimately had to Google 'how to use Snapchat'. True story.)

If, like my younger self, you're not usually the biggest fan of beetroot, try eating it raw. I know that sounds counterintuitive - nobody would try to convince you that raw potato, for instance, was the gateway to its cooked counterpart - but raw beetroot has a milder, less intensely earthy flavour. Plus, it's pretty!

So that's enough blabbering from me - I'll leave you with the recipe!

Ingredients:

serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side/starter

250 g dry small brown lentils (I used Puy)
2 large beetroots, raw & grated
1 small red onion, thinly sliced 7-8 radishes, thinly sliced
1 nectarine, thinly sliced
100 g soft goat's cheese, in small chunks
big handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped

for the dressing:
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt & pepper

Instructions

1. Rinse the lentils under cold water and let them drain a few minutes while you bring a pan of un-salted water to the boil (you'll need enough to cover all of the lentils and allow them to grow slightly in volume - roughly 1.5 - 2 litres should be more than sufficient). Reduce to a simmer and add the lentils. Cook until they are no longer hard but still have a bit of a bite - about 25-30 minutes for Puy lentils (check your package for an idea of the time you will need).
2. In the meantime, prep all of your other salad ingredients.
3. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper, and set aside.
4. When the lentils are cooked, drain them well and add them to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over and stir to combine.
5. Add all other ingredients except the goat's cheese, which I recommend sprinkling on top of each individual portion. This is because otherwise it will lose its shape and simply become a creamy mess - which is delicious but not necessarily what we're going for here!
6. Serve up and enjoy! Note: If you're making this ahead, I suggest leaving the radishes out until you're ready to serve, otherwise they tend to lose a bit of their spice and their crunch.


Fab right? Thanks Sophie for sharing with my readers!

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