love beets. love mint. love lentils. love this salad.

kyle borrowed “urban pantry: tips & recipes for a thrifty, sustainable, & season kitchen” by local cook, gardener, entrepreneur, amy pennington,  from the library thinking it was something he can use for our garden but was disappointed when he got it. i on the other hand was thrilled and practically ripped the book from his hands. i think this is one that is a ‘keeper’ and needs to be bought for your kitchen.

there’s amazing tips, suggestions, and ideas, that continue to flow out of each page…it’s quite astonishing really.  the recipes sound delicious and are creative, fun and i can’t wait to try more of them.  here’s one that i love.  i  just so happened to have a bunch of beets from our garden on hand with no clue on what to do with them (and that fit within our diet restrictions)!

Lentils w/ Mint & Beets
Amy Pennington (urban pantry: tips & recipes for a thrifty, sustainable, & season kitchen- page 75)
serves 4-6 people.

– olive oil
– 1 clove garlic chopped (i used 2)
– 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
– 1 cup dried french lentils
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 3 medium beets, tops removed and scrubbed of dirt
– 15 fresh mint leaves

– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
– 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
– good pinch of salt
– freshly ground black pepper

cover the bottom of a medium saucepan with olive oil and heat over medium-high. cook and stir onion and garlic for 5-7 min or until soft. add in fresh lentils, salt and enough water so that the lentils are just covered. bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. simmer until the lentils are cooked but still have a bite, about 20-25 mins. drain excess water, pour cooked lentils on cooking sheet to halt cooking process

meanwhile bring a small pot of water to a boil and cook whole beets until soft (time depends on size of beet, about 20 mins or so). cool beets slightly and rub skin off with a paper towel. chop beets into small cubes. chiffonade the mint leaves by stacking whole leaves and rolling them lengthwise. when you have a tight roll, cut into thin ribbons.

mix vinaigrette by stirring all ingredients together until well blended.

in a large serving bowl, combine the cooled lentils, beets and vinaigrette.  gently fold in mint leaves. serve at room temperature.

i was really impressed with this salad because i love all these things but would have never thought to add them all together. the flavours compliment each other and it really is amazing.  if you want to check out more great recipes, you should either borrow amy’s book or get one yourself 🙂 i know we are!


  1. Thanks for the wonderful accolades. So glad you are enjoying the book! Tell Kyle I have a garden book coming out next spring, geared towards apartment & condos dwellers – all of us that garden in small spaces. All best, amy

  2. hi amy! thanks for the comment and the head’s up on your upcoming book. if it’s anything like urban pantry, it’s gonna be another ‘must-have’ for the house! we can’t wait 🙂 happy gardening!

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