This salad has been a staple through the winter at our lazy Sunday brunches, full of earthy flavours countered by the sweet & sour vinaigrette, the fermented beets and the saltiness of the feta. You can substitute the brined beets with oven-roasted beets if you like. The result will be slightly sweeter.

Kombucha-vinaigrette:
Ingredients:
200 ml kombucha (I usually go for a tangy lemon verbena kombucha)
2 Tbsp pomegranate syrup or molasses
a handful of unsweetened cranberries, chopped
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp hot chili pepper flakes (Korean gochugaru or Aleppo pepper flakes)
juice of one lemon
a splash of dill oil
100 ml olive oil

Instructions:
Put the kombucha, pomegranate syrup, sherry vinegar, maple syrup, pepper, salt and chili flakes into a small casserole and bring to a gentle boil for about 15 minutes until reduced to half. Let the chopped cranberries soak in the liquid while cooling. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and dill oil once the reduction has cooled down completely and whisk everything together.

Brined Beets-Beluga lentil salad: (serves 4 as a starter – vegetarian)
Ingredients:
250 gr Beluga lentils
200 gr brined beets (see my previous post for the fermentation of the beets)
a handful of roasted pecan nuts or hazelnuts, chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced
a bunch of dill, chopped
50 gr good feta, crumbled

Instructions:
1. Cut the pickled beets in smaller pieces and add them to the kombucha-vinaigrette
2. Rinse the lentils and cook them slowly in a large volume of water, adding a Tbsp of salt a little bit before the end of the cooking time (about 15 min). Drain and let them cool down completely.
3. Add the beets and the kombucha vinaigrette to the lentils, mix in the spring onions and the dill
4. Finish the salad with the chopped nuts and the crumbled feta