Not all salads need to be green.
When I cottoned on to the fact that salads don’t have to be leaf based, my healthier eating options opened up a whole load more.
I do like the leafy creations, but adding grains to salads is a healthy way to add flavour and texture without reaching for croutons or lacing them with rich dressings, which both leave me feeling a bit guilty if I have them too often. It means loads of grains make their way in to salads around our place, like quinoa, bulgar wheat, giant cous cous and yellow split peas to name a few.
If you like the sound of a grain rich diet, buy large bags of them so you have them in your store cupboard so you’ve always got a selection to choose from, and when the days of summer pass they won’t go to waste as you can put them in soups and stews aplenty.
In this salad I chose to use the plump and rich puy lentil. Unlike it’s other lentilly counterparts this one is more pricey, so if you’re being thrifty sub it out for the green lentil. With roasted cauliflower (a game changer if ever there was one) flat leaf parsley and the nutty toasted caraway seed you’ve got a hearty, grown up vegetarian salad, delicious all on it’s own or served up as a side.
Salad for two
For the dressing
- 2 tsp lightly toasted caraway seeds
- Juice of 2 juicy lemons
- Half a red onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- A scrunch of sea salt and generous grind of black pepper
For the salad
- 250g uncooked puy lentils
- 1 chicken/vegetable stock pouch / cube
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut in to florets
- Olive oil for cooking
- Extra virgin olive oil for dressing
- A large handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 180°C, lay the cauliflower florets out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- When the oven is at temperature, put the cauliflower in for 45 minutes, turning a few times so it turns golden brown on all sides.
- While it’s cooking, mix all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- Cook the puy lentils as per the pack instructions, and in the last 10 minutes of cooking add the stock cube/pouch. Rinse the lentils and drain under cool water briefly and put in to a large mixing bowl when they’re still warm but cool enough to handle.
- Add the dressing to the lentils and stir to combine. When the cauliflower is ready, add it to the mixing bowl and stir to combine also. Next add the chopped flat leaf parsley and mix together. Test the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if required.