Meatless Monday- Kale and Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Dressing

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Just thinking about this salad makes me want to go make some right now.  If your definition of salad is pretty broad or you want to break out of your normal meal routine, try this soon.  It's hearty and chunky, which makes it much easier to spear on your fork.  It could be a nice light meal or a side salad, though for me it was a meal.  It's likely best when it's freshly made, but I ate on it for a few meals and didn't ever find it past its prime, and each bite continued to be a delight.  This salad has a nice variety of textures and flavors, the contrasts playing well against and yet with each other.

You start out roasting cauliflower, which gives the cauliflower this nice flavor that's full and subtle at the same time.  The roasting process gives it a nutty carmelization.  It's delightful.  Then you make the dressing, a substantial mixture of Middle Eastern flavors, and combine everything, tossing it to incorporate it well. 

I made the recipe as is, except that I forgot to include the pine nuts.  The salad was great without it, but forget the pine nuts?  Tragedy.

Kale and Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Dressing
from Real Simple

1/4 cup pine nuts
1 small head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into florets
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
10 cups stemmed and chopped kale (about 1 bunch) or torn escarole
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing once, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Increase heat to 450° F. On the rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the cayenne, 2 tablespoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Roast, tossing once, until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, ⅓ cup water, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper (adding more water if necessary, to achieve the consistency of heavy cream). Add the kale, onion, raisins, pine nuts, and cauliflower and toss to combine.

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