In my family, we usually all pitch in and bring a dish to share at family gatherings. Usually the person hosting makes the main dish and we all bring sides to accompany it. Over the weekend, we had a very special lunch to celebrate the engagement of my Sister A and her very lucky fiance M. I thought about what to make, and decided to give myself a challenge: to create something using only the ingredients I had in the fridge.

So much food is wasted here in Australia, when all it takes is a bit of imagination to spare perfectly good ingredients ending up in the trash. I came up with this yummy salad of beetroot and lentils – perfect for this cold weather – that was inspired by a traditional Scandinavian dish I often make at Christmas time. It turned out so well I decided to share it with you today. I only had dry dill on hand unfortunetly, but if you have the chance use fresh.

450g canned whole baby beetroot
1 green apple
1/2 red onion
2 x 400g tins of lentils
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 bunch fresh dill
1/4 cup light sour cream
salt and pepper

  1. Drain the beetroot and cut into bite-sized wedges. Place in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp vinegar. Add 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill and toss well. Set aside.
  2. Peel and cut the apple into thin batons. Finely dice the onion and place with the apple in another large bowl. Add the lentils with 2 tbsp olive oil, mustard, 1 tbsp vinegar and 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill. Season to taste and toss well.
  3. In a serving bowl, alternate layers of the beetroot and lentils. Top with dollops of sour cream and more chopped fresh dill.

Serves 4