- A 400g bag of chioggia beetroot
- 2 carrots
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 red onion
- 1 orange
- 2 large handfuls of baby leaf spinach
- A handful of mint, leaves only
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 x 400g tins of green lentils
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Baking dish
- Deep frying pan or wok
Heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Scrub and trim your beetroot. Cut into bite sized chunks. Trim the carrots and chop into similar sized chunks.
Tumble the beetroot and carrots into a baking dish. Add 1 tbsp oil and 2 tsp of the fennel seeds. Season and stir to coat the veg in the oil and spices.
Wrap the garlic cloves in a square of foil and tuck into the dish. Slide the dish into the oven and cook for 30 mins or till the beets are tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
While the veg roast, peel and finely chop the onion. Zest and juice the orange. Finely chop the spinach. Roughly chop most of the mint leaves.
Just before the roast veg are cooked, heat 2 tsp oil in a deep frying pan or wok over a low heat. Add the onion and season. Fry gently for 5 mins till softened. Take the roast veg out of the oven.
Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins (use a fork to press down on them as they’ll be hot). Put in a bowl and whisk with the orange zest and juice and 2 tsp of the mustard. Drain and rinse the lentils.
Tip the lentils into the onion pan. Stir for 2-3 mins to warm through. Add the spinach, roasted veg and orangey dressing. Toss together with the chopped mint. Serve on warm plates topped with the remaining mint leaves.
Spice is nice
Tip any leftover fennel seeds into your cafetiere the next time you are making coffee to give your cuppa a sweet aniseed flavour.