I have been making this salad for a while now and it has become quite the staple in my diet. Why have I taken so long to share it here? I was dragging my feet because lentils aren’t the most photogenic of pantry staples. Since we eat with our eyes first, I put off sharing it. I finally had some sense knocked into me and realized this salad is just too darn tasty to ignore. What it is lacking in visual appeal, it makes up for a few times over in taste.
Lentils make up the base of this salad and add tons of protein while they’re at it. Carrots and onions help to flavor the lentils as they cook. The cauliflower lightens things up and adds a deep roasted flavor. The Tahini Honey Mustard dressing is both nutty, bright, and sweet all at the same time. It works perfectly to bring this salad together, and I have to keep myself from eating it straight from the jar by the spoonful.
When making this salad I tend to use sprouted lentils. They cook up quickly and are easier to digest. I can get all of the protein and nutrition benefits of lentils without being left with a stomach ache.
Feel free to switch up the veggies. I love cauliflower (as evidenced by this, this, and this), but if its not your thing you could replace it with roasted squash, beets, or even brussel sprouts. Try your favorite out in this salad. It is pretty forgiving and I couldn’t imagine any vegetable, especially when roasted to perfection, being a bad choice.
- For the salad:
- 1 head cauliflower , cut into bite sized florets
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil OR olive oil , divided
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 2 cups sprouted lentils
- 3 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup sliced scallion greens
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Pinch salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet tray and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown.
While the cauliflower is cooking, add the remaining oil to a large pot. Add the carrots, cumin seeds, and paprika and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the seeds become fragrant, 2-3 minutes, add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the lentils, bay leaves, and water. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until the water is absorbed and the carrots and lentils are tender. Remove from the heat.
Combine the lentils with the roasted cauliflower, parsley, and scallions.
Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the vegetables. Serve warm or cold.