Green Lentil & Yellow Beet Salad


Look, we are trying something different today! We created this tasty salad recipe before we left for Mexico, but instead of taking photos of it, we asked one of our favorite food illustrators, Johanna Kindvall, if she could draw it. Yep, we’re breaking new boundaries here with our first guest illustrator! The drawings of course turned out amazing, and hopefully they entice you to try this salad just like any photo would.

Johanna K is a designer who works with illustrations and architecture. She is based in south Sweden and New York City. On Kokblog she shares her funny, minimalistic and unique food illustrations (or diagrams, as she calls them). If you haven’t already seen her work you should head over to Kokblog or check out her shop!

Moving on to the salad. A few months back we posted a Millet & Pumpkin Salad that got lots of positive feedback from both blog readers and our own family. It seems like many of you are looking for that kind of satisfying and flavorful salads. So here is another one. It is basically a green lentil salad with some deliciously roasted root slices and one of our favorite dressings. We have used yellow beets, but regular purple/red beets would work just as good. Actually, most roots (turnip/parsnip/rootabaga) would be a good addition/replacement in this salad.BeetrootSalad_kindvall_2

Green Lentil & Yellow Beet Salad
Serves 4

If you are vegan you can leave out the cheese and replace the honey with maple syrup.

2 lbs (1 kg) yellow or purple beetroots (with top greens if in season, or a large handful fresh spinach)
2 tbsp olive oil, to drizzle
sea salt and black pepper
1,5 cups (400 ml) raw green lentils
1 small onion, very thinly sliced
10 unsulphured dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1 cup (200 g) soft sheep’s cheese, crumbled
1 large handful pea sprouts or sprouts of choice

Sweet Lemon & Poppyseed Dressing
4 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp poppyseeds
1 pinch sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Scrub and trim the beets (rinse the top greens and set aside). Cut into 1/3 inch (1 cm) slices and place them on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until tender and edges are slightly crispy.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils: Rinse them in water then place in a sauce pan. Cover with 3 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add a pinch of sea salt and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Start preparing the dressing: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk vigorously with a fork until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Place lentils, beets, onions and dried apricots and coarsely chopped beet greens (or fresh spinach) in a large serving bowl, drizzle with dressing and give it a good stir. Serve with crumbled sheep’s cheese and sprouts on top.

Illustrations by: Johanna Kindvall


  • This recipe looks delicious. Do you know the nutritional values? If you post it on they will calculate it for you and you can get paid for posting recipes.
  • Miranda Redmann
    My name is Miranda and I'm from Asheville, North Carolina, USA. I have really enjoyed your Turmeric Lassi, in fact I just finished gulping one down!
  • Pat
    While I also love the illustration, I must agree that it doesn't inspire me to try the recipe. I'd love to see what the completed dish actually looks like.
  • We danced in the kitchen last night and absolutely loved it. Michael turned to me and said, "Once a week?" Ha ha. Thanks guys. You are amazing. xo dina
  • Stephanie
    Hi. I live in Vancouver, Washington. I enjoy the Immune Boosting Turmeric Lassi. Since making this, I am finding new ways to add Turmeric to my food.
  • your book just arrived and I'm already loving it! thank you so much for all the inspiration!
  • Sounds like a nice salad with earthy lentils, sweet beetroot and salty cheese. Cute drawings!
  • Hannah
    I wish you had a real picture as well. The illustrations are nice, but I would like to know what the food really looks like.
  • Zarah
    tried the salad today. it was sooo good. thanks for the recipe and the inspiring illustrations!
  • Olivia
    Beautiful drawings... but i already miss your pictures. The drawing dosen't make me wanna try the recipe, but your pictures always does. Your pictures are so colorful and I can almost taste the food. This drawing dosen't give me the same interest for your food.
  • Very nice - all of it! A must-try!
  • Mm mm mm, that sweet lemon and poppyseed dressing sounds fantastic, as does the salad itself! I love your creativity and breaking new boundaries with the illustrations instead of photos!
  • I am wondering--will this keep in the fridge and if so, how long, please? Thank you! Recipe sounds amazing and the illustrations are lovely!
  • Absolutely love the great illustrations. Not the biggest fan of beets but am crazy for lentils. Thanks
  • celine konwinski
    lovely drawings for a beautiful salad
  • Thanks for the lovely illustrations. Now I have to use my imagination to what the finished salad looks like. A different angle :)
  • I love these illustrations! They are beautiful!
  • Your illustrations are just amazing! Love the post, the drawings, so clean and pretty! And I like beets and love lentils, so the recipe is also great, will try it soon! Ana
  • Beet and lentils are a great combination for a nourishing salad, and the illustrations are simply lovely! I'll make sure to check out Kohblog. By the way, I am hooked to last week turmeric lassi, I had it again this morning using fresh grated turmeric and almond yogurt - yum yum! Thanks again David for the quick reply from Mexico.
    • Debbie Hornbeck
      The Beet and Lentil salad sounds very good and the dressing sounds delightful as well. I am a big fan of beets and I can't wait to try this recipe. I love the clear directions in the illustrations. It's easy and fun to read. I am hooked on the Turmeric Lassi from last week as well. I don't mind the yellow fingers after grating the fresh turmeric for the great taste of this smoothie! I've been wanting to try turmeric after reading all the health benefits of it. This recipe is a great way to introduce turmeric in your diet. Thanks for your wonderful recipes. I look forward to your blog each day.
  • This is so fun! Love the drawn pictures this week - cool!
  • Wendy
  • LOVE these illustrations! LOVE this recipe! LOVE this post! LOVE GKStories! So excited for your book and so happy for you. Sending you lots of LOVE ! xx
  • Darby
    the illustrations are charming! beets are a favorite of mine so I will sure to be making this soon.
  • I adore Johannas illustrations, it's a refreshing change to all photo blogs. I have an old Swedish cookbook with no pictures, only illustrations and it really gives a different atmosphere.
  • I like how this delicate illustration really complements your equally lovely salad. Taste is something that lives in our imagination too, and I imagine this salad as a sweet and punchy bowl of polkadotted flavours - from tinytiny to rooty and round - on a crunchy green bed. Blooming with simplicity as all your work :-) First comment after reading (and savouring) for some months, but I really could not help today saying ciao and congratulazioni for your soulful blog and book! Enjoy Mexico :-) Vi
  • I've been a fan of Johanna's work for a while now and am thrilled to see her work on Green Kitchen Stories! It definitely inspires me to put down my camera and to pick up a pen instead. I hope you're having a blast in Mexico and seeing that it is Mexico I'm pretty sure that you are! I hope that you will share some photos of your trip and the recipes inspired by it when you're back in Sweden.
  • I'm in love.... this whole post brought a big smile to my face. Those illustrations are beautiful.
  • Heather
    LOVE the illustrations. Sometimes I think I get food photo burnout, but looking at these lovely drawings is refreshing.

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