Okay so this za’atar dressing is my new favorite thing. Ever. I’ve been making it almost everyday since I developed this recipe. If you’ve never tried the Middle Eastern spice, za’atar, you are in for a treat. You can buy the blend, or make it yourself. I use this blend. They sell it at New Seasons here in Portland, the place where I do all my shopping, but if you can’t find it at your regular store, try a Middle Eastern market (or just order it online). This dish makes a delicious light, healthy dinner or can be served as a side dish. Try the dressing on salads and other rice or quinoa bowls, too.
Roasted Carrots, Heirloom Green Lentils and Wild Rice Salad with Za’atar Dressing
2 bunches rainbow carrots
1-2 Tablespoons avocado oil
1 1/4 cup heirloom French green lentils
4 sprigs fresh mint
2 bay leaves
1 cup wild rice or wild rice blend (I used this one)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tablespoon za’atar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Sea salt + pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Cook rice according to instructions on package. I cook the wild rice blend with veggie broth instead of water for added flavor.
- Rinse the lentils with cold water and discard any stones.
- Put the lentils in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and fill with enough water so that the lentils are covered by 3-4 inches. Add a couple of sprigs of mint and the bay leaves.
- Bring the lentils to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer, add a few pinches of salt and cook for 20-25 minutes. The lentils should be tender, but not overcooked.
- Wash the carrots and remove the tops. Toss them in 1-2 tablespoons of avocado oil (or any oil you use for roasting) and the juice from half a lemon. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread the carrots on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
- While the carrots are roasting, lentils are simmering and rice is cooking, make the dressing. Mix together the olive oil, shallot, za’atar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Drain the lentils from the water once they are done cooking. Remove carrots from oven. Serve carrots over a bed of the wild rice and lentils. Pour the dressing over each dish before serving. Garnish with fresh mint.