Autumnal Sweet Potato & Lentil Salad with a pistachio dressing and tahini sauce
A warm and hearty sweet potato and lentil salad with a herby pistachio dressing and a tahini-lime sauce. This plant based salad is the perfect balance of earthy, sweet and tangy flavours. It can be served as a main dish, a side dish and works perfectly for meal prep too!
2 small - medium sweet potatoes, cut into small cubes (no need to peel)
1tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup green or black lentils, rinsed
2 cups of baby spinach or beetroot leaves
1/2 an avocado
Salt & pepper
3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
3 tbsp finely chopped dill
2 tbsp finely chopped pistachios (I used roasted, salted)
1 lime zested and juiced (I use half the lime first and taste test)
5 tbsp Tahini
4tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp water
Pinch of garlic powder and salt
Preheat oven to 220ºC (425ºF)
Arrange sweet potatoes on a baking tray and toss with olive oil, oregano, chilli, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender, tossing once halfway.
While the sweet potatoes are roasting, cook your lentils. French green lentils or black lentils are my favourites for this recipe, as they hold their shape well after cooking. Brown lentils can work too, though they’ll be a bit softer. Start checking your lentils after about 15 minutes of cooking; you want them cooked but not mushy, and for salads they are best if they retain some bite.
Meanwhile, make your pistachio dressing: In a medium bowl (or jar), combine parsley, dill, pistachios, lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Stir or shake to combine and maybe add a little lime if needed.
In a separate smaller bowl (or jar), combine tahini, lime juice, garlic powder and water; mix until smooth. If you have any left over parsley you can also pop it in. I like using a jar and shaking it to mix. Add water if it is too thick.
In a serving bowl add the spinach or beetroot leaves, the roasted sweet potatoes, the lentils, chopped avocado and a few extra pistachios (whole) for some added crunch, Dress with the pistachio dressing, a little tahini sauce and an extra drizzle of olive oil if needed.
The sweet potatoes add a real richness to this dish, but feel free to substitute just about any roasted vegetables. Carrots, beets, squash or even red peppers would all be delicious in their stead.
Fresh white cheese works very well with this dish.
I use parsley and dill in the dressing but any mix of herbs will work here. Coriander could easily replace dill or even be added in to the mix.
The tahini dressing is delicious but this salad also works well without it.