The garam masala in the dressing brings something truly unique to this salad; the sweet notes of the Indian spice blend are perfectly balanced by the garlic, ginger, and a bright splash of apple cider vinegar. I add a generous handful of mint to the dish to contrast with the earthiness of the lentils and roasted carrots. The pomegranate molasses isn’t necessary if you don’t have it on hand, but if you do, it’s a wonderful way to add a sweet-and-sour finish to the dish.

Masala Lentil Salad With Cumin Roasted Carrots [Vegan]

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Serves

4-5

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 1 1⁄2-pounds carrots, peeled and sliced into 1⁄2-inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dried beluga or French green lentils, or 2 15-ounce cans lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1⁄2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups firmly packed baby arugula, mizuna, or baby kale
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Pomegranate molasses, toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or pine nuts (optional toppings)

For the Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon minced or finely grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
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Preparation

For the Salad:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 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 (you may need a second baking sheet). Season generously with coarse salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the carrots are fork-tender and browning.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the lentils as directed on page 15. Drain, rinse under cold running water, then let drain completely. (If you’re using canned lentils, you can skip this step.)
  5. Put the carrots and lentils in a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the onion, arugula, and mint.

For the Dressing:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk until evenly combined.
  2. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently until evenly combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired.
  3. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, and offer the toasted seeds on the side.
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