Warm lentil and kale salad with carrot-harissa dressing delivers a one-two punch of protein and fiber in a make-ahead meal perfect for hearty lunches or streamlined weeknight dinners. Can we take a moment to appreciate the staying power of a hearty winter salad? One brimming with grains or legumes, roasted root veggies, nuts, and a sprinkling of cheese to elevate the whole shebang.
This one features sturdy kale greens, black lentils, roasted multi-colored carrots, chopped almonds, Manchego cheese, and the most EPIC carrot-harissa dressing. I want to date it, marry it, travel with it, add it to my will, etc.Lentils are a real recipe workhorse here. They add texture and meatiness, plus a hearty dose of plant protein.
I work all types of lentils into my recipe rotation, but have found that black lentils work exceptionally well in salads. Dubbed the caviar of legumes, they have a sturdier skin that helps them hold their shape better than green or red lentils. Look for them in the bulk section of your local health store to stock up at a discount.
If you can’t find any black lentils, sub in green French ones, which hold their shape better than red or brown varieties.Now let’s talk dressing. This magical mashup combines the smoky-spiciness of harissa (a North African spice paste) with the earthy sweetness of carrot juice and bright acidity of apple cider vinegar for a dynamite dressing that’s firing on all cylinders. If you haven’t tried harissa yet, I guarantee this recipe will help land the magical condiment a permanent spot on your refrigerator shelf.
It may seem like a lot of dressing, but the lentils and greens are thirsty to be dressed so don’t be afraid to deploy liberally. They’ll need a good amount to soak up if being made in advance, too.If you give this recipe a try, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. And if you have a chance, come back and comment below and rate the recipe—it helps tremendously in terms of web searches! Cheers, friends.
Warm Lentil and Kale Salad with Carrot-Harissa Dressing
- 1 bunch rainbow carrots sliced at a diagonal into thirds or fourths (depending on size)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt divided
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup dry black lentils rinsed and picked over
- 1 bunch green kale stemmed and roughly torn
- 1/3 cup carrot juice
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. mild harissa paste
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 tsp. honey
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup grated Manchego cheese
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss carrots with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and 1/4 tsp. each of the salt and black pepper; spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
- While carrots roast, combine lentils and 3 cups of vegetable broth or salted water in a large pot with a fitted lid over medium-high. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until lentils are tender. Drain excess liquid and add kale to pot; toss with lentils, cover and steam (with heat turned off) for 5 minutes, until kale is slightly wilted. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt.
- Combine carrot juice, vinegar, harissa, garlic, honey, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a large glass measuring cup or bowl. Gradually stream in 1/4 cup olive oil while stirring continuously with a whisk. Pour two thirds of dressing into pot of lentils and kale; toss to combine, and transfer to a serving platter or bowl. Top with roasted carrots; drizzle remaining dressing overtop. Garnish with almonds and cheese.