This is going to sound sort of odd, but have you ever had a craving for something that you’ve never eaten? Out of no where a few weeks ago, I was craving a salad with roasted cauliflower, lentils, and curry vinaigrette. The closest thing I’ve had to this would be something on an Indian food menu, but I didn’t want the heaviness of a thick curry sauce. So, I headed off to Trader Joe’s to recreate a dish I’ve never tasted. The process was really fun! I roasted the cauliflower to give it that caramelized color and rich flavor. I tossed the cauliflower with warm lentils, peppery arugula, and a light curry vinaigrette. The dish can be eaten warm or at room temperature, depending on how scorching the heat is.
Posted: July 22, 2013
Curry Cauliflower and Lentil Salad
Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes
1 small head of cauliflower, florets only
1 lb cooked lentils *, heated in the microwave
3 cups lightly packed arugula
1/2 cup dried cranberries or yellow raisins, rehydrated in boiling water
1 tsp curry powder, divided
2 tbs olive oil
For The Vinaigrette:
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp cinnamon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
¼ – ⅓ cup vegetable oil
1. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees.
2. Whisk the olive oil and curry powder together in a medium bowl. Add the cauliflower florets and toss well to evenly coat.
3. Lay the cauliflower on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Roast the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes, or until it has softened and has a nice caramel color. Use a spatula to stir the cauliflower halfway through baking it.
4. While the cauliflower is cooking, make the vinaigrette by whisking all of the ingredients together except for the oil. Add the oil to the mix in a steady stream, whisking as you go to create an emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. When the cauliflower has finished cooking, remove it from the cookie sheet and into a large bowl with the lentils and cranberries/raisins. Add the vinaigrette and toss well to combine. Add the arugula and gently toss one more time so that everything is mixed together.
6. If you want to serve the dish at room temperature, not hot, let the cauliflower rest for about 10 minutes before tossing all of the salad ingredients together. This will prevent the arugula from wilting.
* Trader Joe’s sells these great packages of cooked lentils. If you are using canned lentils, rinse and drain them before heating. If you are using dried lentils, cook 1 cup dried lentils in 20 cups water. Put both in a pot and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the lentils are at a simmer for 25 minutes. Drain the lentils before continuing.