Roasted Cauliflower with Lentils and Dates


If you want a main dish for the Nine Days that is hearty and filling, but not laden with dairy products, consider this salad. It is packed with super nutritious ingredients like lentils, spinach, tahina, dates, almonds and cauliflower.  It has a small amount of olive oil and only a teaspoon of honey. It feels light because it is a salad, but the lentils, coated with a tahina dressing, give it an almost meaty heft that will leave you completely sated.

It is the kind of unusual and exciting combination of ingredients that I usually associate with an Ottolenghi recipe, but this salad comes from Food and Wine Magazine contributors David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl. David and Luise are a Stockholm-based couple that have a beautiful vegetarian blog called Green Kitchen Stories.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lentils and Dates
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, March 2014, recipe contributed by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl. Toast the almonds while you are preheating the oven for the cauliflower. If you bring the lentils to a simmer by the time you are ready to roast the cauliflower, the lentils and cauliflower should be ready at the same time. Then it is just a matter of tossing all the ingredients together.

Update:  I made this recipe again using a 14.5 ounce can of lentils (drained, of course) and it worked out fine. So, if you don’t feel like boiling dried lentils, using canned lentils is a shortcut that will work.

1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped and toasted for 10 minutes at 350 degrees

1 cup dried lentils boiled in 2 cups water until tender, about 20 minutes, and then drained

1 head cauliflower, cut in 1″ florets, tossed with oil and spices and roasted for 20 minutes at 400 degrees:
4 Tbl. olive oil
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cumin
pinch cayenne
salt, pepper, to taste

Tahina Lemon Dressing:
2 Tbl. tahina
3 Tbl. lemon juice
1 Tbl. olive oil
2 Tbl. water

10 dates, pitted and chopped

1/2 small red onion, sliced (or one large shallot works, too)

4 cups spinach or arugula (a mix of greens works, too)

Toss the lentils with the tahina lemon dressing in a large salad bowl. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the roasted cauliflower, toasted almonds, dates, onion and greens. Toss everything together and serve.

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