This lentil salad is an extension of the Roasted Cauliflower Salad from a few years back. I wanted to turn this old favorite into a meal salad so it could be enjoyed as a standalone dish. What I love about meal salads like this is the playful mix of components; warm spices, roasted vegetables (I chose a mix of cauliflower and romanesco, both great for roasting), toasted, crunchy almonds, sweet and chewy dates, a substantial base of lentils, and creamy lemon tahini dressing. Also worth noting is the flexible foundation a dish like this provides for weekly meal planning. It's a go-to fridge staple that never lets me down. Use it for at-home or packable lunches tossed with greens or thrown into a wrap, or include it in a larger evening meal.
Moroccan-Spiced Lentil Salad with Tahini, Dates & Almonds
Notes: This makes extra dressing, which can be drizzled on top at the table. Leftover dressing will thicken in the fridge. Simply thin with water, and season with extra lemon and salt as needed.
- 1 large head of cauliflower or romanesco (or a mix: one small head of each)
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp. ghee (or coconut oil), melted
- 1 cup (220 gr) green lentils, cooked
- 1/3 cup (60 gr) almonds
- Small bunch (20 gr) mix of mint & cilantro
- 2 Medjool dates, diced
- Feta, crumbled, to taste (optional)
- Lemon Tahini Dressing (recipe below)
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 4 Tbsp. tahini
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large juicy lemon
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (1/2 tsp. if using garlic granules)
- 1 tsp. honey (or another liquid sweetener, if vegan)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F. Place almonds on baking tray. Dry roast in oven as it preheats for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant.
- Chop cauliflower (tender stems and head) into bite-size chunks. Place on a large, lined baking tray. Add cumin, ginger, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, ghee, a generous sprinkle of salt, and pepper to taste. Toss to combine. Roast 15 minutes, or until vegetables are browned on the edges and tender.
- In meantime, chop toasted almonds, herbs, and dates, and make dressing.
- In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients for the tahini dressing. Taste and adjust if needed.
- In a large, deep bowl, add cooked vegetables, lentils, almonds, herbs, dates, 2/3 of dressing, and salt to taste. Toss well to combine, adding more dressing as desired. Serve leftover dressing, lemon, and feta if using at the table for topping.