lentils & roasted radishes with meyer lemon vinaigrette

Winter eating and roasted root vegetables; it hardly seems right to have one without the other. Carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onions, beets, fennel.... every one a root vegetable and all sweeter by far when roasted. Although radishes must be classed as a root vegetable I had never before had even a whiff of a thought of roasting them. Radishes are for eating fresh, crisp, and spicy with a sprinkle of salt or sliced into a salad - or so I thought. Last night I learned that a roasted radish mellows in taste and colour becoming far more exotic than I had ever imagined a humble radish could. (a tiny bit of an exciting discovery - you can't imagine what we get up to around here!) 

The idea for this salad belongs to something I saw over on Food52. I read the 'recipe' (really just a paragraph of an idea) and the thought of roasting radishes so intrigued me that I bought some of the beautiful bright red orbs, tossed them with olive oil and salt, and popped them in the oven the first chance I had. The salad that I put on the table elicited a more enthusiastic response than I am used to. First bite, even better. David urged me (yes, urged) to take a picture and share this recipe. More, he requested that it be put into "frequent rotation". Make what you will of that :)  For my part, I say it is hearty, healthy, and delicious.

I used the sprouted bean trio (Tru Roots brand - Costco) but any lentils would work. I simply used what was on the shelf in my pantry.

lentils & roasted radishes with meyer lemon vinaigrette
(adapted from Food52)

8 radishes, washed and quartered
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 shallots, chopped
1 cup lentils
2 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp sea salt
pumpkin seed
ricotta cheese

Toss the radishes, sweet potatoes, and shallots with a tablespoon of olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and a grind of pepper. Roast at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and sweet.

Meanwhile combine the lentils with 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered for a further 10 minutes. Drain and rinse.

In a large bowl combine the roasted radishes, sweet potatoes, and shallots with the cooked lentils. In a small bowl whisk together the meyer lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, and garlic. Pour over the vegetables and lentils, toss to combine. 

To serve: top with ricotta to taste and sprinkle with green pumpkin seeds.

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