This striking salad combines tender roasted carrots, protein-rich lentils and fresh greens and mint with a garam masala-infused vinaigrette. This delicious, healthy vegan salad will fill you up! Recipe yields 4 servings.
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dried beluga or French green lentils, or 2 cans (15 ounces each) lentils, drained and rinsed
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cups firmly packed baby arugula, mizuna, or baby kale
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 teaspoon minced or finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon garam masala (scale back if you don’t completely love garam masala)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pomegranate molasses (optional; I didn’t use any)
Toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or pine nuts
To make the salad, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the carrots in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and maple syrup, sprinkle with the cumin, and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to the lined baking sheet, spreading them in a single layer. Season generously with coarse salt and pepper. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the carrots are fork-tender and browning.
Meanwhile, put the lentils in a pot and add water to cover by 3 to 4 inches. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender, about 20-30 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water, then let drain completely. (If you’re using canned lentils, you can skip this step.)
Put the carrots and lentils in a large bowl and let them cool for 10 minutes. Add the onion, arugula, and mint.
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk until evenly combined.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently until evenly combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, if using, and offer toasted seeds on the side.