salad without a name

I'm not sure what to call this salad exactly. Goes with everything salad? Warm Lentil and Cauliflower Salad? The Pantry Salad? Lemony Lentil Salad? I'm clearly open to suggestions. It came together on a rainy night, a Tuesday, actually. Tuesday is sometimes devoted to meals like this. Because we get organic vegetables delivered on Wednesday, we're working with the very end of our produce and sometimes in my sheer laziness I just don't plan a meal hoping something will inspire me in the moment. Thankfully, sometimes this actually does happen.

I had plenty of pantry staples to choose from, so out came the remaining green lentils, some couscous, and the lone cauliflower that never had a purpose until now. I quickly swirled together a lemon vinaigrette to brighten the flavors and chopped some parsley for color. We ate it with risotto cakes, but it would certainly make a wonderful bed to roast fish, chicken, or even shrimp skewers. You can see my dilemma with the name, I hope.


It goes with everything (great as a bed for grilled fish or chicken) and is filled with pantry staples. If you have them, glossy black Beluga lentils would be wonderful here.

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup green lentils
1 cup couscous
Juice of 1 lemon
1 large garlic clove, minced
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped parsley
Feta cheese, for sprinkling

Toss cauliflower with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and caramelized.

While the cauliflower roasts, make the lentils. Bring 2 cups water to a boil and add lentils. Boil until cooked through, about 30 minutes. (Check the package instructions and test as you go; cooking times will vary.) Drain any remaining water and place in a large bowl.

In the same pot, bring couscous and 1 cup water to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and add to bowl, along with the cauliflower and parsley.

In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, salt, pepper, a drizzle of honey. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified. Taste for seasonings. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. Serve warm with feta, if using.