Some of the absolute best meals are totally improvised. I’ve been baking lots of sourdough during this never ending cold snap. As my bread was nearing completion, so was my lunchtime. My bread oven, the Fourneau Grande, is made of all cast iron, which holds it’s heat tremendously well, (which makes it amazing for baking bread). It also takes a little bit of time to cool down. I like to use all that leftover heat to make lunch.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad Ingredients
- Black lentils: Given that this recipe is totally improvised to begin with, I encourage more riffing! If you don’t have black lentils on hand, you could use brown or green french lentils. I love how black lentils hold their shape and have a little more bite without all the mush. They’re also so great refried with an egg on top, so make a little extra for weekend brunch.
- Cauliflower: I like to keep the cauliflower pieces on the smaller side. They’ll roast faster and have more crispy edges. Try tearing the pieces apart as opposed to cutting for less tiny bits of cauliflower everywhere, and more jagged surface area for browning. If a piece is too thick or hard to tear, I’ll usually start it with a small knife incision at the bottom and tear the rest. I’m pretty committed to breaking them apart with my hands! It also makes a really satisfying snapping noise when you do it that way.
- White balsamic vinegar: Invest in the good stuff here. White balsamic isn’t the same as regular balsamic and I wouldn’t suggest that as a substitute here. If you don’t have white balsamic vinegar on hand, go for white wine vinegar with a drizzle of honey to sweeten it up.
- Medjool dates: I love the combo of roasted cauliflower and medjool dates but not everyone in my household likes them. I prefer the mellow depth of flavor that medjool dates bring as opposed to the sweeter deglet noor you might find at the store. If your dates are ancient and rock-hard in the fridge, make sure and soak them in hot water for a few minutes before attempting to pit and chop them.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- 1 cup black lentils
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 1/4 small red onion
- Fresh mint, parsley & dill
- Sheep’s milk feta cheese
- White balsamic vinegar
- Chili flakes
- 2 large medjool dates optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Break the cauliflower into small florets and toss with a glug of olive oil and a hearty pinch of salt. Sprinkle with chili flakes if desired. Roast in the oven until crispy and tender, about 25-30 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the lentils. Rinse black lentils and transfer to a small saucepan. Cover with water and cook on medium until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- If you are using medjool dates and they are hard, soften them in warm water for 5 minutes. Coarsely chop.
- Assemble the salad. Layer black lentils with roasted cauliflower on top. Sprinkle with thinly sliced red onion, feta crumbles, finely chopped fresh herbs, medjool date and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add a splash of white balsamic vinegar and taste for more salt. Enjoy warm or room temp.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @growingwithgertie on Instagram.