Roasted Cauliflower salad with lentils & dates
Many times we just keep getting different magazines and don’t even bother reading it. I get a couple of food magazines, I scanned through, plan to make a couple of recipes but very rarely get to it. It was different this time. When I got this issue of Food and Wine, I was in love with this recipe. I had to make it. So a friend of mine was coming over for lunch and I decided to try this recipe on her. She is not a hard-core vegan but prefers not having dairy products. This recipe was perfect. I made a few changes and the result was great. I like making this since it does not need me to stand over the stove and cook forever. Especially when my friends are visiting I like to make meals that are easy to make so I can spend more time with my friends.
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup beluga or green lentils, rinsed
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch florets
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of cayenne
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 10 dates, pitted and chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups loosely packed spinach
- 2 cups loosely packed arugula
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Increase the oven temperature to 425°.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the lentils with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until tender, 20 minutes. Drain well and let cool. These lentils are called Beluga lentils since they resemble the ‘beluga caviar’. 🙂 On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the 1/4 cup of olive oil and the cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne; season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, turning, until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown. I must warn you this cauliflower is addictive. I always make one extra since I finish half of the roasted cauliflower before it makes it to the salad. 🙂
In a large bowl, whisk the tahini with the lemon juice, honey, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. If you want to make it vegan, you can use Agave in place of the honey.
Very often found in the Lebanese cuisine, tahini is a power food. It is a fine paste made from sesame seeds which are rich in protein, calcium and minerals. Sesame seeds are used very commonly in the southern and western regions of India. It has a beautiful nutty flavor. You can now mix in the lentil and cauliflower to the dressing if you want or you can leave the dressing on the side. Add the lentils and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Scrape the roasted cauliflower into the bowl and add the toasted almonds, dates, onion and spinach. Toss the salad, transfer to a platter and serve.