Summer is flying by before my eyes. Even though the days are long sometimes my time in the kitchen is short. This recipe may use a few too many pots to be truly simple but it is quick to put together if the veggies and grains are cooked ahead of time. Everything of course is also made easier if you have a pro dish washer in the house like I do, thanks Rob Krar for the ultramarathon dish sessions when I create a tornado in the kitchen. The weeks are counting down to the Run Rabbit Run 100 and this bowl hit the spot – filling and healthy. The variations are endless. The inspiration for this recipe is an amalgamation of a basic premise of many a meal in our house (a bowl with grains + protein + veggies + flavor) and a little recipe from Deborah Madison’s newest cookbook In My Kitchen. She was one of my first food crushes, and her new cookbook is a gem, more of a story of how to create delicious, simple food in the kitchen than just a collection of recipes. This is the perfect book for someone learning to create their own voice in the kitchen, or looking to change up how they approach dinner.
This bowl is chock full of rich colored goodness. Black rice and black lentils are full of antioxidants as are the beets, blueberries, carrots and greens. We have a short growing season in northern Arizona and this recipe really exemplifies the summer farmer’s market season for me. Beets and carrots are a staple every Sunday in downtown Flagstaff. Buy a bunch of beets with good looking greens if you can, if not you can buy some chard or replace with another cooked green of your choice. We utilized a cheese we were gifted at the Arctic Triple in Norway – feta would be a good replacement. Lastly this is finished off with a light creamy dressing. I had some crème fraîche and buttermilk leftover that needed using up, but this salad would work just as well with a lemony vinaigrette.
- 1 cup black rice
- 1/2 cup black lentils
- 1 bunch of beets with good greens
- 1 bunch of carrots – as small as you can find
- 3 tbs olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 bunch of chives chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped mint
- 1 avocado diced
- 1/3 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup cheese – feta and goat cheese are good choices
Crème Fraîche Dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4-5 tablespoons lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons crème fraîche
- splash of buttermilk – 1-2 tablespoons
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Trim beets and wrap in foil, roast until soft 45- 1hr depending on the size. When cool, slip the skins off and chop into bite sized pieces. NOTE: This can be done up to a week in advance – wrap beets tightly and store in the fridge.
- Few things beat fresh carrots from the farmers market in my book – I quartered some smaller ones from the market – cut the carrots to bite size, toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for 20-25 minutes. ( these can go in the same oven as the beets, just add later)
- Cook black rice according to directions. We love our rice cooker – it really helps the high altitude struggle, and I love that I can put a grain on to cook and head out for a run without fear of burning the house down.
- While veggies and rice are cooking boil at least 3 cups of water and add lentils, bay leaf and salt to taste. Cook until tender but still firm 20-25 minutes, drain remove bay leaf and set aside.
- Meanwhile clean and chop greens and sauté with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, set aside until ready to use.
- Combine rice and lentils in a large bowl. Add cooked greens, chopped beets. Scrape carrots and any remaining oil into the bowl.
- Toss gently with dressing to combine while still warm but not hot.
- Add herbs, blueberries, avocado, and cheese and toss gently.
- Adjust seasoning and serve -this salad works best at room temperature or cold.