This is a nourishing bowl of goodness. The sweet and sticky carrots, bright green peppery rocket, creamy labne, spicy za’atar mix and filling quinoa and lentils make for a delicious lunch or easy to throw together dinner. Everything can be prepped early and be waiting for you in the fridge to grab and take to work.
The dressing is zingy and goes really well with the sweet carrots. I also threw some nutty toasted sunflower seeds in there because I’m addicted to their crunch and flavour at the moment. I don’t usually eat honey but with such a small amount in this recipe I figured my fructose limit wouldn’t be reached, lucky for me I was correct. It’s good to take risks occasionally right?
This recipe serves 4 but feel free to half or quarter it (if you need). You can make your own labneh by straining yoghurt through a cheesecloth overnight in your fridge, here are some step by step instructions. It’s annoying because you have to think about it the day before hand, but so worth it for the creaminess.
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into a 2cm dice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp olive oil
4 purple carrots (or orange if you can’t find purple), cut into 3-4cm x 1.5 cm sticks
1 tsp honey
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbs fresh thyme
3 cups cooked quinoa
1.5 cups cooked green lentils
2 Tbs toasted sunflower seeds
6 dried apricots finely diced
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp whole grain mustard
2 cups rocket
1/5 cups flat leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup spring onion
4 Tbs labneh (or just use a thick yoghurt
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1 Tbs thyme leaves
1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the sweet potato with 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin and 1 tsp olive oil and roast for 30 minutes or until caramelised. Set aside
Line a separate baking tray (or the same one after the above just not at the same time as the purple carrots colour will go everywhere!). Combine the carrots honey, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tbs fresh thyme and work the honey and olive oil into the carrots with your hands so all are evenly covered. Throw in the whole garlic clove too and roast for 40 minutes. Or until tender and caramelised. Reserve the garlic clove for the next step.
In a large bowl, combine the lentils, sunflower seeds, apricot and quinoa. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the clove and combine in a jar with the red wine vinegar, remaining olive oil and mustard. Pour over the quinoa mix and toss to coat.
Combine the rocket, parsley and spring onion. Cut the lemon in half, slice one half into wedges and squeeze the other half over the rocket mix.
Make the Za’atar: place all ingredients in a mortar in pestle and grind until the sesame seeds are mostly not whole and the spices are well combined. Add 1 Tbs to the quinoa mix.
Assemble salad: Either put all the ingredients excluding the lemon wedges, labneh and remaining Za’atar in a bowl and mix or arrange separately in a bowl (see images) and mix when eating. Either way top with a tablespoon of labneh on each serve and sprinkle over the remaining za’atar. Dig in.