Roast Beets, Balsamic Onions, and Lentils

I just killed the last 25 minutes researching spice storage. Priorities. I’ve got ’em.

Can someone please tell me where in the world one finds canned lentils in the grocery store? I wandered all over two stores in the last few days looking for them. I wanted to make this recipe so badly [with Grammy’s beets, no less] that I finally gave up and went the old school route and cooked them myself. I don’t know why, but I psyched myself up to think that cooking lentils was complicated and/or painstakingly long. It’s neither. Especially compared to the rest of the pieces of the recipe. Just don’t be like me and forget to rinse the lentils BEFORE cooking them. That was some brown water. Yikes.

I also left the skins on the beets because I really didn’t want to sport pink fingers for the next 24 hours. They were just fine with them left on. Surely there are more nutrients in them like most things? Who cares. Laziness wins.

This looks like a rustic, woodsy dish. It tastes like it, too.If you don’t go the canned route, this is easily an hour long dish. However, it makes great leftovers [if you’re eating for one anyway, this is a recipe for two servings] so the long cook time kind of balances itself out after the next day.

Inspiration: Stonesoup


  • 9oz (250g) green lentils
  • 2-3 cups of beets, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced into half moons
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • Handful of almonds [and/or goat cheese if you’re one of those lucky people]


  1. Heat grill on medium indirect heat [or oven to 350°].
  2. Toss the beets with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and place in a tinfoil packet.
  3. Place on the grill [or in oven] for 45-60 minutes until fork tender.
  4. Heat a small pan with one tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.
  5. Add the onion slices and stir to coat in olive oil.
  6. Cover with a lid and turn down to medium low.
  7. Stirring occasionally, allow the onions to slow cook until they start to turn translucent–15-20 minutes.
  8. Remove lid and add one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and stir.
  9. Leave the lid off and continue cooking the onions for another 15-20 minutes until they turn brown and caramelize.
  10. Rinse the lentils thoroughly before placing in a large saucepan.
  11. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.
  12. Cover the lentils generously with water [a good 2 inches].
  13. Bring them to a boil before turning down to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  14. Drain the lentils.
  15. At this point, all the pieces should be complete. Remove the beets from the grill [oven].
  16. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl with the almonds [and/or goat cheese], two tablespoons of olive oil, and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
  17. Serve warm or place in the refrigerator until serving.


3 thoughts on “Roast Beets, Balsamic Onions, and Lentils”

  • I’ve never seen lentils in a can, either. But they are pretty darn easy to make–and with beets! Just so happens to be my veggie 😀 And I must know, what did you learn about spice storage?

    • I wasn’t really learning much. I was trying to see what kind of options I had for mounting a rack [or two] on the inside of my pantry door. Then of course I’d need matching jars. And labels. It’s a project in itself!

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