Roasted Balsamic Beetroot and Carrot Salad with Labneh

Is this a salad? It’s debatable. I’ll let you make up your mind about that one. All I know is that this roasted balsamic beetroot and carrot salad is my idea of a salad. If I could only eat one salad, this would be it! It’s a simple plate of roasted root vegetables on a bed of lentils and labneh, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar… sign me up! PS, don’t forget the bread to mop up the last of the labneh – it’s the best part!

Close up of a plate of roasted balsamic beetroot and carrot salad with labneh sitting on a grey cloth and background.

The Inspiration

Our local wine bar serves a roasted beet salad alongside labneh with a chunk of ciabatta and It’s my favorite thing on the menu. There have been a few great nights over the Summer with that salad, a glass of local wine, and good friends – just what summers should be! Anyway, I set out to create those similar flavors in a labneh salad side dish so I can enjoy it all year long. Because once Autumn sets in, I hunker down for the winter and hibernate. Plus what if they take it off the menu?! (cue horrified look!)

What you need to get started for this roasted beet and carrot salad recipe

  • Fresh Herbs and Vegetables – fresh carrots and raw beets plus, mint and fresh parsley. I always favor flat-leaf parsley but either kind will work.


  • Green lentils. Australian fine green lentils or French puy lentils are my go-to lentils. Alternatively, you could also try black lentils.


  • Labneh – You can easily make your own labneh or use a store-bought version.


  • Dukkah – I LOVE dukkah. If you haven’t used dukkah before, It’s a traditional Egyptian spice blend full of herbs, spices and nuts. Premade dukkah is sold in most good food stores. It has so many uses… Sprinkle over chicken before grilling or roasting, over vegetables or a salad for some crunch, or simply with a little extra virgin olive oil and bread for a snack. My go-to dukkah in Australia is Malouf’s classic Egyptian dukkah. It’s a delicious blend with chunky hazelnut pieces which work so well in this salad.


  • Balsamic Vinegar. A good quality, finishing-grade balsamic vinegar.

The details

  1. Peel, top, and tail, and cut both the carrots and beets into roughly 4-6 evenly sized pieces each


  2. Preheat the oven to 180 C.


  3. Place the chopped raw beetroot and carrot pieces in a pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and black pepper and pop the pan into the oven to roast for 45 minutes.


  4. While the root vegetables are roasting, cook the lentils to the packet instructions in a medium saucepan. Once cooked, strain and cool by running cold water over the lentils while still in the strainer. Leave to drain completely.


  5. Once the roast vegetables are fork-tender, remove them from the oven. Drizzle with 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and leave to cool.


  6. To assemble this beetroot salad, smear half of the labneh on the base of a plate. Top with the lentils, and then the roasted vegetables. Dollop the rest of the labneh on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the dukkah over the top and finish with the chopped fresh mint leaves and parsley.


  7. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Equipment you’ll need for this roasted beet salad recipe

A good roasting pan. These stainless steel pans by The Essential Ingredient are my staples. I have about 6 of them! You’ll also need a medium saucepan for cooking the lentils and a colander to drain them. A good cook’s knife will also come in handy as well as a chopping board to cut up all the vegetables and herbs.

Cook’s notes

Ok, so you’re short of time, let’s cheat a little. You can easily create this labneh salad without roasting the vegetables. Buy some pre-cooked red beets from the vegetable section of your local grocer. I buy them shrink-wrapped and then throw this salad together (minus the carrots) in under 30 minutes.

You can also pre-cook the roasted vegetables and boil the lentils the day before a gathering if you are short on time.

Whenever you are peeling beetroot, be sure to wear gloves so your hands don’t stain from the pigment.

How do I choose a good balsamic vinegar?

Authentic Modena balsamic vinegars are rated on a leaf system advertised on the label. When you are cooking the balsamic (like in this caramelized balsamic onion jam) look for a two-leaf balsamic. When drizzling over salads, like this labneh salad recipe, use a three or four-leaf (AH-MAZ-ING) aged balsamic.

What do I serve beetroot carrot salad with?

This easy salad recipe has BBQ weather written all over it. But I could totally eat this every day of the year on its own. However, I normally serve it up alongside some rissoles or kebabs on the BBQ, a potato gratin, and maybe add a batch of these cheese and bacon skillet rolls. Dinner is served!

Can I keep it for another day?

This salad is best eaten on the day it is assembled. You can however, prep ahead all the components a day in advance and only assemble when ready to eat.

They say that you don’t make friends with salad. I do and here are a few of my favorite salad recipes…

Do you have a favorite salad? Let me know in the comments!

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close up of a plate of roasted balsamic beetroot and carrot salad with labneh

Roasted balsamic beetroot and carrot salad with labneh

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  • Author: Emma Lee
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 serves 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Description

The flavours of my Summer… roasted balsamic carrots and beets on a bed of lentils topped with labneh and dukkah.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3  carrots
  • 3 beetroot
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra to drizzle
  • sea salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 c green lentils
  • 1 tbsp balsamic + extra to drizzle 
  • 175g labneh
  • a handful of fresh mint and flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp dukkah

Instructions

  1. Peel, top and tail and cut both the carrots and beets into roughly 4-6 evenly sized pieces each
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  3. Place the chopped vegetables in a pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and black pepper and pop the pan into the oven to roast for 45 minutes.
  4. While the root vegetables are roasting, cook the lentils to the packet instructions in a medium saucepan. Once cooked, strain and cool by running cold water over the lentils while still in the strainer. Leave to drain completely.
  5. Once the roast vegetables are fork tender, remove them from the oven. Drizzle with 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and leave to cool.
  6. To assemble, smear half of the labneh on the base of a plate. top with the lentils, and then the roasted vegetables. Dollop the rest of the labneh on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the dukkah over the top and finish with the chopped herbs
  7. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Notes

When working with beets in the kitchen, be sure to wear gloves so the pigment in the beetroot doesn’t stain your hands!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 283
  • Sugar: 14.1 g
  • Sodium: 863 mg
  • Fat: 12.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.9 g
  • Protein: 11.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 23.6 mg

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