The kernel for this recipe came from a recipe in Bon Appetit's Fast, Easy, Fresh column a while back. That recipe was for kohlrabi with red lentils and sounded so interesting. Well, there were so many disconnects for my family - not the least of which was that the kohlrabi was not a big hit around here - that I'm not really sure why I didn't just chuck the recipe. I loved the idea of a curry vinaigrette so I just kept tinkering until I came up with a version of this salad that we like. Serve alongside sauteed greens for a vegetarian meal or with some protein - shrimp is particularly delicious with this salad. Maybe pan sauteed with a little garlic, ginger and curry. - healthierkitchen —healthierkitchen
Test Kitchen Notes
This is a wonderful dish! The tender roasted cauliflower florets are speckled with crisp roasted cumin and coriander seeds which present blurts of flavor. The cauliflower goes well with the red lentil and couscous mixture (I placed it on top rather than mixing in). I loved the fried shallots (I made my own), and chopped cashews as a crunchy garnish. But best of all is the divine vinaigrette. I almost swooned with pleasure when I tasted it and I know I will make it again and again. I could just eat it with a spoon it’s that good! I think this dish would be great served warm on some wilted or sautéed greens or cold with a dollop of creamy Greek yogurt. Healthierkitchen has created a great, unique recipe. - JoanG —The Editors
1 large head
whole wheat couscous
plus one tablespoon chopped chives
crispy fried shallots ( I purchased these from World Spice but you can easily make them by placing thinly sliced shallots in a pan lightly coated with hot canola oil and letting them get just a little brown)
Core the head of cauliflower and separate into small florets. Cut larger pieces in half so that most pieces are uniform in size. I am unenvironmental and put the florets into a large ziploc with the olive oil and make sure the pieces are coated. You could easily use a bowl instead. Then, being unenvironmental, I line my half sheet pan with foil (which you could also skip) and spread a very light coating of oil on the pan or spray some vegetable spray on the pan. Spread cauliflower florets onto pan and sprinkle cumin and coriander seed over top. Roast for about 25 minutes, checking and mixing the bits about often. If the cauliflower seems to be cooking too fast, lower oven to 400.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, curry powder, salt, garlic and ginger. Add the olive oil while continuing to whisk, until dressing is emulsified. Set aside.
While cauliflower is cooking, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and then add the lentils. Cook for about 5 minutes until soft but not mushy. Rinse and drain the lentils and put the lentils into a large serving bowl. Add the vinaigrette reserving a few tablespoons to add to the couscous.
In the now empty saucepan, boil 1 cup water and add the couscous. Take off the heat, add a few tablespoons of the vinagraitte, cover and let steam for 5 - 10 minutes.
When the cauliflower is fully roasted (brown but not burned) add to the lentils. When the couscous has finished steaming, add that as well. Add the 1/4 cup chives and mix well. Sprinkle the lemon juice over and mix again. Taste for salt and add if needed.
Garnish with the fried shallots, cashews and remaining chives.