Persian Sweet & Sour Baby Beets & Herby Lentils

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Vegetarians Vegans
Persian Sweet & Sour Baby Beets & Herby Lentils

Brightly coloured baby beets are roasted in a sticky sweet-and-sour coating, served up on a zesty bed of warm lentils, herbs and slivers of crunchy radish.


  • 400g mixed baby beetroot
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 orange
  • A bunch of radishes
  • 50g watercress
  • A large handful of mint, leaves only
  • 400g tin of lentils
  • 1 lime
  • 10g dukkah
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 50 mins

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1. Heat your oven to 200°C/Fan 190°C/Gas 6. Scrub the baby beets and trim their tops off. Halve any larger ones. Pop the beets in a roasting tin. Toss them with 1 tbsp olive oil and some seasoning. Slide into the oven and roast for 45 mins.
2. While the beets are roasting, peel and thinly slice the red onion. Pop it in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and some salt. Leave to soak for 5 mins. Drain, then tip back into the bowl. Zest and juice the orange into the bowl and leave to marinate.
3. Trim the radishes. Finely shred half the leaves. Slice the radishes as thinly as possible. Place in a large bowl.
4. Roughly chop the watercress, discarding any tough or woody stems. Finely chop the mint leaves and add them, and the watercress, to the bowl with the radishes.
5. Drain and rinse the lentils. Zest and juice the lime, keeping the juice and zest separate. Whisk the lime juice with the sugar.
6. Remove the beets from the oven. They should be tender. Lower the oven temperature to 160°C/ Fan 140°C/Gas 3. Pour the lime and sugar mixture over the beets and toss gently to coat. Roast for 5 more mins.
7. While the beets finish cooking, tip the lentils into a pan and add the marinated onions with their orangey juices. Warm gently for 4-5 mins. Drizzle in ½ tbsp olive oil. Fold the lentils through the radishes, watercress and mint. Taste and season.
8. Divide the lentils between a couple of bowls. Top with the caramelised sweet and sour beets. Scatter over the dukkah and lime zest to serve.
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