Okay are you ready for it? This kale salad with roasted vegetables, lentils and tahini dressing is my new go-to winter salad. Really it’s the salad of my dreams! It’s influenced by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine (what’s not to love about that!?)… which in my mind, I can simply sum up as “extra delicious”.
The ultimate winter salad
First, there’s oh-so good massaged kale (three kinds – crimson-colored “Redbor” kale, curly kale and Tuscan Lacinto kale), which is tossed with French Puy lentils, then topped with roasted vegetables (a tasty mix of sweet potato, cauliflower, parsnips and heirloom carrots). Finally there is a drizzle of my go-to tahini dressing, and a garnish of pomegranate seeds for a splash of color and toasted sesame seeds and black cumin… just because it’s a great addition to this ultimate plant-based salad. Yes, you need this salad in your life.
I hope you all LOVE this salad as much as I do! It’s:
Super easy to prepare
Totally versatile (use your favorite fall vegetables)
So speaking of versatile, this salad makes the perfect things for serving guests (think of keeping vegan friends happy at Christmas!), or simply as a weeknight dinner that also lets you enjoy delicious leftovers for a easy take-to-work lunch. Yes, it keeps incredibly well… say hello, best packed lunch ever.
Looking for more kale recipes?
Check out my Simple Kale Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing, Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup (Ribollita), Shaved Brussels Sprout Kale Salad, Turmeric Ginger Lentil Soup with Kale, or simply go to my Ingredients page to view all recipes with kale.
Or fans of tahini sauce, check out my favorite recipes: Roasted Japanese Eggplant with Tahini Sauce, Roasted White Asparagus with Tahini-Lemon Sauce, or Shredded Cabbage Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing.
Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables, Lentils and Tahini Dressing
For the roasted vegetables:
- 2 small parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise twice, then halved in the middle
- ½ head cauliflower, or whole one, if small, cut into florets
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and then slice into half-moons
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- generous pinch whole cumin seeds
For the salad:
- 3/4 cup dry French green Le Puy lentils (150 g)
- 1 bunch kale, hard stems removed and chopped (about 6 handfuls)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate, to garnish
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds lightly toasted
- 1 teaspoon black cumin (Nigella), lightly toasted
For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup cold water, or as needed
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F /220°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the parsnip, carrots and sweet potato on one baking sheet, and the cauliflower on the second baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a generous pinch of cumin seeds to the cauliflower. Roast for 30-35 minutes, flipping the vegetables over with a spatula and switching the position of the trays halfway through.
Meanwhile, cook the lentils according to package instructions, in 3 times the amount of water for 30 minutes. When done, remove from heat and drain if needed. Set aside to cool.
TIP: I recommend tasting the lentils after about 20-25 minutes to see if they are the consistency you prefer — I like them firm (al dente).
- Place the kale leaves, olive oil, and salt in a large serving bowl and massage for 2 minutes, until well coated. Add the cooked lentils and toss to combine.
- To prepare the dressing by adding tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Season with a little salt and pepper, then add water and whisk together. If needed add 1/2 tablespoon more at a time, until it reaches a pourable consistency.
- When the vegetables are done, let them cool slightly. Add them to the kale bowl. Drizzle some of the dressing over top and garnish with pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and black cumin.
- Serve the remaining tahini dressing on the side, along with extra pomegranate seeds. Enjoy at room temperature.
- This salad keeps for several days and makes great leftovers.
- Parsnips will cook at about the same rate as carrots, so cut them into similar-size pieces. If using a larger parsnip, then you can cut the bottom smaller part in half, and the larger top half into thirds or quarters (lengthwise) so everything is about the same size and cooks evenly.
- I always use olive oil for roasting my vegetables. My favorite is extra-olive oil from Farchioni Olii which is also heat resistant, making it great for cooking and for salads. Plus it tastes amazing.
- Black cumin (Nigella) can be found in organic food stores, Middle Eastern shops, or of course online.
- Beluga lentils are also great with this recipe. Or go ahead and try switching them out for chickpeas.
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