Lentil Cauliflower Picnic Salad

by matkonation | 25.10.12

by: Danya Weiner

Until a few weeks ago we were living in a steamer, it was so hot outside that my newborn baby and I could not leave the air conditioning until six in the evening. During the holidays (in September) the temperatures went down a little and we started to say that “fall” had arrived.

 Our version of fall is still quite hot, about 30ºC/85ºF, but it was about time to start enjoying the outdoors a little. For the past three weeks we decided to pack up our family and spend the weekends in different places. First we set up a camping site around Jerusalem hills, the next week we drove up north to a wooden cabin with friends and last week we spent the weekend at one of my favorite places in Israel- “Chan Beerotaim”, a sort of  Bedouin campgrounds, near the Egyptian border.

This weekend we made a conscious decision to stay at home and try and do nothing. The only thing we had planned was a short walk and picnic with my oldest sons’ kindergarten class. Each family was asked to bring something to the picnic and I offered my famous pasta salad (which I never posted, and should). While I was cooking the previous Friday night dinner, I felt the need to try something new and then suddenly I saw the large cauliflower in the fridge, winking at me. Without having a specific recipe in mind I decided to break the cauliflower into little florets and bake them with some Indian spices. While in the oven I continued with the Friday cooking. When I took the tray out of the oven and tasted the cauliflower I knew immediately that they it would go great with black lentils for a light picnic salad!

 

This salad is perfect for picnics because it just gets tastier with time. I made it on Friday evening for Saturday’s picnic and it was just perfect. The only thing was that I fixed was the seasoning a little and added the feta cheese just before leaving the house.

 

Black Lentil and Cauliflower Salad

Ingredients for 8 servings:

 For the cauliflower:

2 medium sized cauliflowers, broken into florets

¾ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon ground cilantro

½ teaspoon caraway seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil

 For the lentils:

4 cups water

2 cups black lentils

  For the salad:

½ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1 small red onion, halved and finely sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:

 Preparation:

  1. Prepare the cauliflower: preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2.  In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the cauliflower and then spread evenly onto the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is softened but still a bit crunchy.
  3. Prepare the lentils: In a large pot, bring the water to a boil, and then add the lentils. Cook for 20 minutes, until they are al-dente. Strain and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Prepare the salad: Place the cauliflower and lentils in a large bowl and mix until combined. Add the cilantro, and red onion and mix to combine. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, taste, and adjust seasoning accordingly.
  5. Top with crumbled feta cheese and serve.

 

 

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