Cook this: Tricolour beet and lentil salad from A Rising Tide

‘It showcases traditional (East Coast) ingredients in a really simple, delicious, modern way,’ says Emily Lycopolus

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Our cookbook of the week is A Rising Tide by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus. Over the next two days, we’ll feature another recipe from the book and an interview with the authors.

To try another recipe from the book, check out: East Coast lobster roll.

“If I’m writing a recipe, my mandate is simple and delicious. Something you can incorporate into everyday life seamlessly and not make things complicated. Complicated does not mean delicious,” says Emily Lycopolus, laughing. “And so that very much for me is this recipe. It showcases traditional (East Coast) ingredients in a really simple, delicious, modern way.”

Root vegetables are a staple, and while lentils and other legumes aren’t necessarily associated with the region, they thrive in parts of Atlantic Canada. A showcase for beets, whether freshly harvested or stored through the winter, this salad is also a nod to Maurice Girouard, a farmer Lycopolus and DL Acken met on their journey throughout New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.


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Girouard, a retired engineer who took over his father’s farm a 40-minute drive north of Moncton, N.B., is an organic cereal grain farmer, but he also grows beans and lentils.

“You think about Saskatchewan for grains; you don’t think about New Brunswick,” says Lycopolus. “But because of the richness of the soil and the way the farms are designed, they can actually make a living off of a much smaller parcel of land.”

As a main course or side dish, the salad also represents a welcome plant-based option. “It’s a nice vegetarian nod in a very meat-heavy region,” says Acken, adding that it’s a standout dish. “That’s my favourite recipe.”

A Rising Tide by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus
In A Rising Tide, West Coasters DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus celebrate the “culinary renaissance” of Canada’s Atlantic Coast. Photo by Appetite by Random House


2 lb (900 g) mixed candy cane, golden and sugar beets
1 cup dried French lentils
1 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
Beet microgreens, for garnish


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Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Step 2

Scrub the beets. Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, peel the candy cane beets. Slice the beets into wedges and set aside. Repeat with the golden beets and then the sugar beets. Continue to keep the colours separate. Wrap each colour separately in aluminum foil so the colours don’t bleed. Roast until fork-tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Step 3

While the beets are cooking, rinse the lentils well, place in a medium pot and add just enough water to cover them. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and set the lid slightly ajar. Simmer until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are fork-tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork. Drizzle 1 tsp of the salt, the oil and vinegar over top, and mix well with a wooden spoon to evenly coat the lentils.


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Step 4

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the yogurt, lemon juice and cumin until fully combined.

Step 5

Spoon the lentils onto a serving platter, arrange the beets on top and drizzle with the yogurt dressing. Garnish with microgreens and serve.

Serves: 4

Storage: This salad is lovely served warm or chilled. Once dressed with the yogurt, it’s best enjoyed the day it’s made, although the various components will keep in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Pairs well with: Magnetic Hill Winery’s Illusions

Recipe and image excerpted from A Rising Tide by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus. Copyright 2021 DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Ltd. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.




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