I’ve noticed recently that many people both online and in my everyday life have been talking about Sunday meal prep. To be honest, I don’t tend to do heaps of it, but I am a fan of making myself work lunches in advance (to stop me from buying Vietnamese food everyday). During Winter I make a big vat of soup on Sundays, which sustains me throughout my working week, but with the arrival of (slightly) warmer weather, soups no longer seem the appropriate choice for work lunches… That’s where this roasted veg and lentil salad comes in – super tasty and morish, keeps well in the fridge, tastes great cold, and is substantial enough to fill the gap at lunch time.
I love the combination of roasted carrot, eggplant and potatoes – sweet, creamy, and savoury carby goodness is all covered! Roasted with paprika, cayenne and cumin, this salad pops with flavour with or without the preserved lemon. I do love preserved lemons though – they’re a cinch to make and turn everything they touch into fragrant lemony deliciousness (without the acid)… If that’s not enough to persuade you, a few grating of lemon zest should do the trick. I prefer homemade preserved lemons but you can pick them up from gourmet or middle eastern grocery stores.
Puy lentils keep their shape perfectly for salads, but they can also be replaced here with black beluga or red Persian lentils which also keep their shape. You could also substitute in cooked chickpeas, if preferred.
This salad is great to make ahead for picnics, potlucks or for your lunch box. Let me know what you love packing for work lunches in the comment sections below!
Spicy Roasted Carrot and Eggplant Salad with Puy Lentils and Preserved Lemon
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 45 min
Spicy Roasted Carrot and Eggplant Salad
300g | 1 medium eggplant, 2 cm chunks
120g | 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
300g new potatoes, cut into 2 cm chunks
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tsp sweet paprika
1.5 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
90ml | 4.5 tbls olive oil
100g | 1/2 cup Puy lentils (French green), rinsed
1 bay leaf
Half a preserved lemon, flesh discarded and rind rinsed and finely chopped (optional)
1 small bunch of coriander (cilantro), stems and leaves finely chopped
A big handful of rocket (arugula)
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Set your oven to 200C.
In a large rimmed baking tray, toss the carrot, eggplant, onion, potatoes and garlic with the spices and 3 tbls of the olive oil. Season with 1/2 tsp of salt and roast in the oven for 35-40min, tossing hallway, till potatoes are cooked through.
Meanwhile cook the lentils in plenty of salted water – bring them to the boil then simmer gently for 20-30 min, till cooked through but not mushy. Drain and then toss in a small bowl with the preserved lemon (if using), a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Whilst the veggies are still in the warm tray, add the lentils, coriander, and rocket and fold through. Drizzle over the final tablespoon of olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with plenty of salt and pepper and serve.
Will keep covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days, can be served hot or at room temperature.