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Jun 8, 2017

Roasted Carrot Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed, divided
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bunches of rainbow carrots (8-10 medium carrots), scrubbed well and trimmed (leafy stem tops cleaned well and reserved for garnish)
  • 7-8 red radishes, stems trimmed and scrubbed well, divided
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, skin-on
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 of a red onion, very thinly sliced

Tahini Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons warm water (depending on thickness of tahini paste)
  • Soak and cook the lentils: Place the dried lentils in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water and allow the lentils to soak for one hour. Drain the lentils and  return to the same saucepan. Add 3 cups of water, the quartered onion, smashed garlic, bay leaf, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring the lentils to a boil, reduce the heat to  simmer, and cook the lentils for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain in a fine-meshed sieve and discard the onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Place in a large serving bowl to cool. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Roast the vegetables: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the carrots into 1/2-inch rounds (the skinny ends of the carrots can be left in larger chunks, try to keep the carrots as consistently sized as possible) and cut the radishes into quarters (reserving one radish for garnishing. Place the carrots and radishes on a large sheet pan, along with the garlic cloves (leave the skin on), and toss with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  • Roast for 20-30 minutes, tossing the vegetables every 10 minutes or so, or until the carrots and radishes are caramelized and tender. Remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skin (discard the skin, but keep the cloves) and allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature. Add the roasted vegetables and garlic to the cooked lentils, along with the sliced red onion, and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini paste, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It should be thick. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of hot water (depending on your brand of tahini paste, you might need more or less to achieve the right consistency) and whisk gently until smooth. The dressing should be the consistency of a thick salad dressing, but should still easily drizzle from a spoon.
  • Cut the remaining radish into very thin slices. Roughly chop some of the reserved leafy stem tops of the carrots (roughly 1/4 cup or so). Garnish the salad with the sliced radish and chopped carrot stem tops. Drizzle the salad with the tahini dressing and serve at room temperature (this salad makes great leftovers and can be served cold from the fridge).