Roasted Cauliflower with Lentils & Tahini Sauce

A couple weeks ago, my partner Mia and I really needed to go to the grocery store. We had nearly no food left in the fridge and were planning to go that evening. However, we needed to scrape together a lunch with what we had in the fridge to make it through the day. We opened the fridge and saw a head of cauliflower, some lentils and half a red onion; ok, we can work with that. We tossed it all together and added some tomato on top and it was surprisingly good. 

This recipe is a refined version of our “just get by” lunch, and it is frankly delicious! Instead of raw red onion, in this recipe the red onion is quickly pickled to add a nice acidic punch. There was also a bit of feta added to add some creaminess and some salitness. Lastly, the tahini sauce that goes on top was refined to tie the whole thing together. I use an instant pot to make the lentils here, but any cooking technique will do just fine. This recipe is simple, delicious and wholesome — enjoy!

Active time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

Pickled red Onions

  • 2 Cup of vinegar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 large red onion
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic

Cauliflower

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Lentils

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Lots of freshly cracked pepper

Tahini sauce & toppers

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼  tsp paprika
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • ⅓ of a cup crumbled feta 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Then, make the pickles. Combine the vinegar, the maple syrup and the salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. 
  2. In the meantime slice your onions into very thin semi-circles. Then, get a large glass jar. Put a bit of water in the bottom and microwave it for about two minutes to heat the glass, as we will be pouring hot liquid into it. Pour out the hot water once microwaved.
  3. Put the red onion, the whole cloves of garlic and the peppercorns into the jar. Pour the brine over the onions until the jar until it is full, there may be leftover brine. 
  4. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. I like to cut off larger florets and then break them into small bite size pieces with my hands. Next, get one or two baking sheets lined with parchment paper (if you need two will depend on the size of your cauliflower and your baking sheets). Cover with the olive oil, salt and lots of fresh cracked pepper and toss to coat evenly. This will cook in the oven for 20 minutes. 
  5. Make the lentils, combine all the ingredients in the instant pot and cook for 6 minutes on high pressure. Allow to natural pressure release for 10 minutes then release the pressure. The lentils can also be prepared according to the instructions on the package. 
  6. While these two are cooking, make the sauce. Combine the lemon juice, maple syrup, onion powder, paprika, tahini, olive oil and the water and beat until smooth. 
  7. Prepare your toppers. Dice the tomato and crumble your feta if you are using a block. 
  8. Once all the ingredients are ready start with a base of lentils, then add on the cauliflower. Add on the tomatoes, pickled red onion, and the feta and drizzle on the tahini sauce. I recommend using roughly the same amount of lentils and cauliflower. Dig in and enjoy!

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