Beet Quinoa with Beluga Lentils

My mom gave us some fresh beets from the summer cottage, and this is one of the dishes we used them in. I love quinoa, and my favorite way to cook it is like this: in a pilaf with just a few spices and a vegetable or two. The beluga lentils are delicious, and I especially like how they have a resemblance to quinoa when it comes to size and shape, but the texture is quite different.

We served this dish with a simple side of cubed daikon radish, dressed with some lemon juice, linseed oil, and a pinch of salt and sugar.

The Beet Quinoa:

  • 2 and 1/2 dl quinoa, well rinsed
  • 2 small beets, finely grated (about 2 dl)
  • 1 onion, cubed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 dl kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/2 dl red wine
  • 4 dl water
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • canola oil for frying

I first fried the onions in the oil until translucent, then added the garlic and the herbs, and fried a bit more. Now, I added the quinoa and the beets, and fried for a minute or so, just to coat them with the oil. Then I added the water, the red wine, and the olives, covered the pan, and let the quinoa absorb all the liquid, which took about 18 minutes. I checked it more often toward the end of the cooking time, and added just a little bit of water when it started to dry out but wasn’t quite done yet.

When the quinoa was cooked, I stirred in the Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper, and the dish was ready to be served.

The Beluga Lentils:

  • 2 and 1/2 dl Beluga lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed

I cooked the lentils with the bay leaf until they were soft, which took about 15 minutes. Then I drained the lentils, removed the bay leaf, and added the rest of the ingredients. Then I let the flavors develop in room temperature until the quinoa was all cooked.