Greeks eat a lot of beets, a lot of lamb, and a lot of lentils. No wonder they come up with Beet salad with Lamb, a hearty, warming, delicious Greek salad that can be eaten all year long, but if you want to make it of all fresh ingredients, then you will make it from early spring throughout early summer.
Almost all ingredients are so typical for this season, young lamb meat first of all. In the winter version, fresh beets are replaced with canned cousins, and cooked spinach leaves should be used instead of the young ones. This Greek Salad is commonly served in Northern and Northeastern Greece in spring and fall as well.
Opposite from many easy-to-make Greek salads, Beet salad with Lamb requires some time since it involves cooking of all ingredients, except for spinach if made in spring. But it’s worth every applied effort. Its ingredients of all different sorts of flavors match so well and cooking enhances their togetherness to the extent that you really want to chew it and enjoy it slowly so to satisfy all your taste buds.
Beet Salad with Lamb Recipe – Ingredients
• 500-600 gr. lamb sirloin
• 500 gr. beets
• 500 gr. of lentils
• 2 medium size red onion, thinly sliced
• 100 gr. fresh young spinach leaves
• Olive oil for cooking
• 2 tablespoons of Red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
• Salt and pepper
This is a salad that requires more preparation time. Beets and lentils should be cooked in advance. Cook beet roots in a lot of salty water. When done you should be able to pierce them with a fork. Be careful not to overcook them. When beets chill down a little, pill them and cut in slices. Set aside. As for lentils, use Greek brownish lentils. Soak them in a lot of water overnight, rinse them the following morning, add fresh water and cook them for 30-45 minutes. When cooked, rinse them well and sit aside.
Now, it’s time to prepare meat. Preheat the oven (250 C). While waiting for it to reach desirable temperature, cut lamb sirloin in straps and season them well with salt, pepper and oregano, and sear them on both side in the pot with previously warmed olive oil. Turn oven down to 200 C, and place meat within the pan in the oven for another 10 minutes (check the cooking time since it may varies in different ovens). When you finish with meat, place the straps in the plate and cover them with foil.
Add more olive oil to the same pan to warm slightly, and place beets, lentils, onions and vinegar in it, slightly mixing and cooking for few minutes. All ingredients will mix their flavors “freed” by heat, plus they will take in some of the meat juice left in the pan.
It’s serving time. Cut meat slices in smaller pieces if necessary and place them in a bowl. Add lentil and beet mixture, fresh young spinach leaves (cut them if needed). Toss lightly and serve right away.
The beets, lentils and lamb salad is a hearty, delicious warm salad, very convenient for late spring or early summer and fall.