Eat the rainbow! Not only do colourful dishes look beautiful, they are also incredible for your health. I even turned the tahini green with the addition of fresh parsley and basil in the dressing. This vibrant salad full of crunchy, creamy, sweet, savoury and spicy goodness will keep you coming back for more!
The crispy, crunchy element in this salad comes from the lentils. Have you ever had roasted chickpeas? Well, I created a similar texture using canned lentils- I actually prefer roasted lentils to chickpeas as I feel their smaller size results in a crispier texture without being too dry.
These lentils are doubly addicting thanks to the fragrant, warming North African spice blend, ras el hanout. Ras el hanout can vary slightly, but generally contains cinnamon, chilies, coriander, Nigella seeds, cardamom and rose petals, among other spices! I found it at my local mainstream grocery store, but you may also have luck at a bulk store. I strongly recommend adding ras el hanout to your spice cupboard!
A quick roast in the oven turns lentils from soft to crispy- great for topping salads or soups, and for a boost of protein.
Add in whatever vegetables you most enjoy (try to pick one of each colour!)- I used a mix of baby spinach and arugula, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, cucumber, red onion and avocado.
Rainbow Salad with Crispy Lentils and Green Tahini Dressing
For the lentils:
1- 19oz can lentils, drained and rinsed, patted dry with a paper towel
Drizzle of olive oil
2 tsp ras el hanout
For the green tahini dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh herbs (I used a mix of parsley and basil, but cilantro, dill and mint would work well)
1 clove garlic
4-5 tbsp. lemon juice (to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Water, to thin (between 1/4- 1/2 cup)
4 cups salad greens (I used arugula and baby spinach)
1 cup baby tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
5 radishes, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, grated into ribbons
1 avocado, sliced
Preheat oven to 400F. Place lentils in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil (about 2-3 tsp) and ras el hanout. Toss to combine, then place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes, tossing occasionally, until evenly browned. The lentils will crisp as they cool.
Make the green tahini dressing. Place all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Add water, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Assemble! Place everything in one large bowl, or divide into smaller portions. Top with