This roasted broccoli and feta salad has lentils and a crunchy almond-lemon dressing for a flavour and nutrient packed salad. This is also one of those salads that get better over time. As the flavour has time to meld together it just improves, which makes it perfect for meal prepping too.
The roasted broccoli is tossed in oil and za'atar which adds a delicious complexity to the dish. And the crunchy almond oil dressing made with whole cumin and fennel seeds are the perfect addition. I love adding habanada peppers, which look like habanero peppers, without any of the heat. They have such a unique, sweet flavour and since I recently discovered them at the farmers market a few weeks ago, I've been obsessed with them. If you can't find them, feel free to sub with another mild pepper (shishito peppers are great) or a spicier one if you'd prefer.
Here's everything you'll need to make this lentil and feta salad with broccoli.
So what is Za’atar exactly?
It’s the name of a spice mixture that is used as a condiment. It contains herbs such as oregano, thyme and/or marjoram, sumac, toasted sesame seeds and salt. It can also contain a few other ingredients depending on the region in the Middle East.
You can find the blend at Middle Eastern grocery stores, online at Amazon, or you can make your own.
I love using it on vegetables, like in this sheet pan roasted vegetables with za'atar and halloumi and in this creamy whipped feta dip with tomatoes.
Preheat the oven.
Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through and slightly al dente. Once finished cooking, drain excess water through a sieve and transfer to a large bowl.
While the lentils are cooking, make the broccoli. Transfer the florets to a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and za'atar. Spread them out (use two baking sheets if needed) and transfer to the oven. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes, until browned on the edges and just fork tender. Transfer them to the bowl that the lentils will go into.
While the broccoli is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, pour in the remaining olive oil. Once warm, add the almonds and peppers and toast for three to four minutes, until just starting to brown. Add the cumin and fennel and let the spices bloom and toast for about one to two minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and drain the nuts from the oil using a sieve over a bowl, leaving the oil in the bowl. Transfer the nuts mixture to a paper towel lined plate and season with a good pinch of salt.
To the bowl with the hot oil, add the lemon juice and preserved lemon (if using).
Pour about half of the oil/lemon mixture over the lentils and broccoli and add in the almond/pepper mixture. Top with feta cheese and parsley and drizzle the remaining dressing over top.
Taste and adjust with more oil/lemon and season with salt if needed. Enjoy!
I exclusively use Diamond Crystal kosher salt for all of my recipes. I prefer the texture, taste and consistency of this brand and highly recommend it for everyday cooking.
I love using these large baking sheets with the rack that can go on top.
If you make this broccoli and feta salad with lentils please share with me, by tagging me on Instagram or leave a comment and/or review below. I truly love seeing and hearing form you!
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This roasted broccoli and feta salad has lentils for protein (and fibre) and a crunchy almond-lemon dressing on top. It's great for meal prep, as a side or a main!