Charred Broccoli & Lentil Salad
2 cups green lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
2 heads broccoli
Olive oil, for coating
1 cup grated carrots (from 2 or 3 carrots)
1 large handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stems coarsely chopped
2 oz feta, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
Smoky Tahini Dressing Ingredients
1 jarred or freshly roasted piquillo or red bell pepper, seeded
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp tahini, stirred in the jar
3 tbsp water, plus more as needed
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar, plus more as needed
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more as needed
1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
1. Place lentils, onion, and bay leaves in a saucepan and cover by at least 1 in of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Keep a watchful eye, adding additional water if needed. Drain well in a colander, discarding the onion and bay leaves.
2. Remove the leaves from the broccoli and cut any discolored areas off the stems. Cut the heads lengthwise into quarters. Using a mandoline, the slicing blade of a food processor, or a sharp knife, cut the broccoli stems and florets into 1 ⁄4 in slices.
3. Heat the broiler with an oven rack 4 to 5 in from the flame. Place the broccoli (including the little florets that break off while slicing) on a baking sheet, season with salt, and evenly coat with olive oil. Spread in a single layer, leaving plenty of room in between the slices (you may need 2 sheets). Broil the broccoli until tender and charred, 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice.
4. To make the dressing, blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Add more water to thin the dressing if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (The dressing will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
5. In a large bowl, evenly coat the lentils and carrots with the tahini dressing, a little at a time. Add more vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Fold in the broccoli, followed by the parsley and feta. Fold in the pistachios just before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; it’s good right from the fridge.)
Reprinted with permission from Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad Into Dinner by the Editors of Food52, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photo: Courtesy of James Ransom/Food52.