Here’s a delicious festive salad, perfect for the holiday table- Beet, Lentil and Spinach Salad with Basil & and a bright and tangy Pomegranate Vinaigrette, topped with maple walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. 

Beet, Lentil and Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Dressing, topped with maple walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. 

In winter, all singing is in the tops of the trees. ~ Mary Oliver

Here’s a tasty salad that we’ve been enjoying off and on through the years. It is festive, hearty, and full of great flavor- Beet, Lentil, and Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Dressing. Crumbled goat cheese and maple glazed walnuts add a nice richness and the flavors compliment each other well. The punchy Pomegranate Dressing is bright and flavorful and fun and unique.

It is easiest to make this salad in stages- cooking the beets and lentils ahead and making the dressing ahead. Then it all comes together quickly.

Ingredients Beet Lentil and Spinach Salad

ingredients in the pomegranate dressing

Pomegranate Dressing

 The Salad

  •  baby spinach (or sub arugula)
  • cooked lentils (black caviar lentils are nice here)
  • cooked beets (peeled and cut into wedges) about 3 medium beets
  • maple glazed walnuts (see notes)
  • pomegranate seeds
  • goat cheese, more for garnish
  • optional: torn basil or Italian parsley

How to make Beet Lentil and Spinach Salad

I highly recommend making the salad in stages- cooking the beets and lentils ahead and making the dressing ahead. You can also make the maple glazed walnuts ahead!

Step one:

Cook the lentils and beets.

beets steaming in an instant pot

TIP: I’ve been using my instant pot to steam beets using the steamer rack- fast and easy!

cooked lentils

Cook the lentils in ample salted water, like you would pasta. Drain and cool.  You’ll need about 1/2 cup dry. Black Caviar lentils are nice here or French Green lentils.

Step Two: Make the Pomegranate Vinaigrette

making the pomegranate dressing- reducing pomegranate juice with shallots

Reduce pomegranate juice with the shallots. Then combine the rest of the ingredients to make the festive dressing. You can make this up to 7 days ahead.

pomegranate dressing in a jar

Step Three: Make the Glazed Walnuts

maple walnuts

Toss walnuts with maple syrup and a pinch of salt and optional allspice and bake at 350F until golden and toasty.

Step Four: Assemble the Beet Lentil Salad! 

Beet, Lentil and Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Dressing, topped with maple walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. 

Place everything in a large bowl, and drizzle with half of the dressing. Add more as needed. The leftover Pomegranate dressing will keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Step five: Toss the salad

Beet, Lentil and Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Dressing, topped with maple walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. 

On the homefront: We are spending Christmas on Schweitzer Mountain, perched above snowy trees. The world is quiet up here, and insulated, much like living in a snow globe. The last few nights the moon has shown so brightly reminding me of the light that is always present even on the longest night of the year.

In the distance, snowy trees wave their branches so joyfully, as if to say we are still here, and I can’t help but whisper back and say, I see you, and so am I. Somehow just being alive and breathing after this year feels like such an accomplishment. 🥂

I have such fond memories of waking up on Christmas to the scent of cardamom wafting from the oven. My Finnish mom would make Pulla, (Finnish Cardamom bread) on Christmas morning, and somehow the smell always brings me right back there to that happy place.

I love how food has a way of transporting us to another place and time, connecting us with loved ones.

Sending you the warmest, happy-scented, wishes today. ❤️

Sylvia

More holiday salads you may enjoy:

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Beet, Lentil and Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Dressing, topped with maple walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. 

Beet, Lentil and Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: salad
  • Method: tossed
  • Cuisine: salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Beet, Basil, Lentil and Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Dressing, topped with maple walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. This salad is easiest made in stages. Cook lentils and beets ahead and make the dressing. Then simply toss everything before serving.


Ingredients

Scale

Pomegranate Dressing

Glazed Walnuts

 Salad:

  • 57 ounces baby spinach (or sub arugula)
  • 1 cup cooked lentils (black caviar lentils are nice here)
  • 1 1/22 cups cooked beets (peeled and cut into wedges) about 3 medium beets
  • 1/4 cup basil ribbons
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/21 cup crumbled goat cheese, more for garnish

Instructions

Do ahead: Cook the lentils and beets. The fastest way is to cook lentils in ample boiling water, like you would pasta. Boil the beets (covered) cutting them in half if larger than a tennis ball (or feel free to roast). Peel and dice or slice.

Make the Pomegranate Vinaigrette: 

In a small pot, heat pomegranate juice and shallots and bring to a simmer over medium-low or low heat. Simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10-15 minutes. Take care to simmer gently as boiling will cause bitterness. (Aim for bubbling around the edges of the pot, rather than throughout.)

Once the pomegranate juice has been reduced, add to small bowl, and whisk in olive oil, vinegar, orange zest maple, salt and pepper. Add a pinch of allspice if you like.

Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 7 days, shaking extra well before using.

Make the Maple Glazed Walnuts:  Preheat oven to 35oF

Toss walnuts with maple syrup and a pinch of allspice and salt, and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. When golden, remove from oven, fluff with a fork, and let cool completely. The syrup will harden and become crackly and the nuts will break apart easily.

Assemble the salad: 

In a large bowl, add spinach, cooked lentils, beets, basil and pomegranate seeds. Toss with some of the dressing (start with half) then add more as needed to coat all the ingredients generously and evenly. Taste, adjust salt and vinegar if needed.

Toss in the goat cheese and walnuts and serve!


Notes

Salad is easiest made in stages- cook lentils and beets ahead and refrigerate, make dressing and walnuts ahead.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 317
  • Sugar: 16.4 g
  • Sodium: 288.3 mg
  • Fat: 20.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.2 g
  • Fiber: 6.8 g
  • Protein: 9.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 4.4 mg

Keywords: beet lentil salad, lentil beet goat cheese salad, lentil beet salad, beet walnut goat cheese salad, lentil spinach salad, lentil walnut salad,

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. Wonderful. I did beets in pressure cooker as described 16 minutes and they were perfect. So much faster then roasting in the oven. Will do that again. I had the black lentils made already and the salad came together easily. I didn’t have pom juice so used fresh orange juice with shallot boiled down and went from there. I cut oil back ( that is just me saving a calorie where I can–I only used one teaspoon of blood orange olive oil) We loved it. Would make for a holiday or company anytime.

  2. Thanks Sylvia just a perfectly refreshing and healthy salad. Loved the vinaigrette and the texture of the walnuts throughout! Just looks and tastes spectacular! Cheers…

  3. Loved this salad! The orange vinaigrette, basil and lentils really elevated the flavors from an ordinary beet salad to a wow salad. I served it for Christmas dinner and everyone raved about it. Topped with a piece of salmon, we had it as a main course a couple of days later. Thanks Sylvia! All your recipes are the best!

  4. We made this for a family dinner last night … walnuts and goat cheese on the side to accommodate various preferences … it’s SO delicious! Also the kind of food that really make you feel that you are being kind to your body. Another hit! Thank you Sylvia!

  5. I absolutely love your recipes and you are my go to site for creative cooking. I have to sadly confess though that this is the first time I haven’t given five stars to one of your recipes. I was careful to reduce the Pom juice adequately but still found the dressing relatively flavorless once combined with the greens. Even my husband commented, and he NEVER complains. I made another batch of the dressing, this time using double the amount of pomegranate balsamic in place of the more delicate vinegars. It was better but still not worth the effort, sorry to say.

    1. Oh shoot Mary. Just curious, did you use 100% unsweetened Pomegranate Juice? Or a juice blend?

        1. Hummm, sorry Mary, not sure what happened here? I’ve made this a few times and it’s always punchy and flavorful?

  6. Wow!! I just made this salad today and it is the bomb! It’s exactly as you said “festive, hearty, and full of great flavor”!! I am constantly blown away by the recipes you share with us on your website. You are the best!!! And I mean that from the bottom of my heart! You rock!!!!