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Enjoy the vibrant flavors of curried cauliflower, sea salt massaged kale, and lemon tahini dressing in this warm kale salad. A hearty, vegan, and gluten-free entree salad that you will absolutely love.
Do you have kale growing in your backyard yet?
Because I did not manage to plant a vegetable garden this year you MUST let me live vicariously through you. What did you plant? How is it growing? What food have you made from your garden bed? As I walk past the backyard gardens in this beautiful city, I get so excited about all the vegetables I see budding and sprouting. And all of it has got me in a salad kind of mood.
While I will have to go to the grocery store this year, I hope you can make this kale salad from the greens in your backyard. This kale salad is made with oven-roasted curried cauliflower, gently massaged kale, and lemon tahini dressing for a hearty and delicious salad I think you’re going to love.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
Not only is this Cauliflower and Kale Salad DELICIOUS, but also it is packed with nutrients, important vitamins and minerals, tons of proteins, and a whole lotta whole foods making it a fueling and wholesome salad that is hearty enough for a dinner salad.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Kale – I prefer using curly kale but any kale will do. Read more about the benefits of kale below.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cauliflower – Read more about the benefits of cauliflower below.
- Curry Powder
- Brown Lentils – You could also use green lentils but avoid red lentils as they become mushy when cooked.
- Avocado – When choosing an avocado, look for one that is darker in color and make sure that it is mostly firm with a little bit of give when you gently press on its skin.
- Red Onion – This can be omitted if you don’t like raw onions.
- Lemon Tahini Dressing – This is a mixture of tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, maple syrup, and salt.
Benefits of Kale
It’s hard not to love kale. Not only is it easy to add to anything, but it is also GREAT for you. Kale:
- is high in fiber
- helps neutralize inflammation
- is loaded with immunity-boosting vitamins
- and is filled with antioxidants
Benefits of Cauliflower
Cauliflower also has many health benefits but the main reason I love cauliflower SO MUCH is that it’s a wildly versatile food. It makes amazing mashed potatoes, you can use it as a low-carb alternative to rice, dairy-free alternative to cream sauces, and an AMAZING vegetarian option for chicken wings. Cauliflower can even be an egg replacer in baked goods and be the base for your grain-free pizza crusts.
For this recipe, you will need basic cooking equipment including a saucepan, baking sheet, mixing bowls, a small blender, and kitchen utensils. You will also need a salad bowl and salad tongs. (<<affiliate links)
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to Make Cauliflower Kale Salad
Step One – Cook the Lentils
To cook the lentils, lentils should first be rinsed under cold water in a fine mesh strainer. This removes the unpleasant dirty flavor of lentils. Once they are rinsed and drained, place them in a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes until all the water has absorbed.
Remove the lentils from heat and let them cool.
Step Two – Bake the Cauliflower
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the cauliflower. To begin, break down the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Place all the florets in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and curry powder until the florets are well coated. Transfer the curry cauliflower to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes, flipping once, until the cauliflower is melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Set aside to cool.
Step Three – Massage the Kale
To eat raw kale, it’s important that we give it a gentle massage. A simple massage helps to break down the toughness and bitterness while releasing sweetness and tenderness into the leaves, greatly enhancing the flavor and texture.
Massaging kale is really easy. First, you’ll want to chop the kale finely and place it in a large bowl. Next, drizzle it with a little olive oil and salt. I like adding lemon here as well for extra flavor, but that’s not necessary. The oil and salt help break down the leaf’s toughness allowing it to tenderize even more.
As you massage the kale you will notice the leaves get more vibrantly green with a bit of silky shine. The kale will also shrink in volume as the leaves tenderize.
Step Four – Assemble the Salad
Place the massaged kale at the bottom of a salad bowl. Top with lentils and cauliflower. Add avocado and red onions and mix together. Toss with Lemon Tahini Dressing and serve.
Serving and Storing
Serve this salad warm or cold. I love it both ways. Serve this salad with a Portobello Steak or on its own. It makes a hearty lunch or light dinner.
Store leftover salad in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Make in Advance – The components of this salad can be made in advance. The dressing and lentils can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Massaged kale can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
More Healthy Salad Recipes
- Thai Cashew Salad with Sesame Peanut Sauce
- Vegan Taco Salad with Walnut Taco Meat
- ULTIMATE Detox Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Southwest BBQ Tempeh Salad with Vegan Ranch
Kale Salad with Curry Cauliflower
- 1 bunch curly kale, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tbsp water
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 tbsp red onion, minced
- In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add lentils, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes until all the water has absorbed.
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Break the cauliflower into bite-sized florets and place them in a large bowl. Add olive oil, salt, and curry powder and toss until the florets are evenly coated. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, flipping once.
- Place the kale in a large bowl. Add olive oil and salt and gently massage for 1-2 minutes until the kale is richer green, tender, and shiny. Set aside while preparing the remaining salad ingredients.
- Combine all the ingredients for the tahini dressing in a small blender and blend until smooth.
- When lentils and cauliflower are done, combine them with the kale in a large salad bowl. Add avocado and red onions. Toss with lemon tahini dressing and serve immediately.