Squish, squash, I was makin’ a salad
|December 7, 2010||Posted by Lindsay under Gluten-Free, Seasonal stuff, Vegetarian, What's for Dinner, What's for Lunch|
I have been in love with this salad for more than a year. And now – when we’re inundated with warm-me-up happy hours, spiked hot chocolate, rich comfort food and cookie swaps (GIRL SCOUT COOKIES IN THE OFFICE, ACK) – is the perfect time to share it.
This salad is great for lunch because it’s light but filling, and it’s a study in ingredient harmony. The squash (pumpkin in the original recipe – but use butternut, trust me) gets a kick from the paprika and cumin. (Feel free to add ancho or cayenne in there if you’re feelin’ it.) The lentils give a boost of protein to keep you full through the bus ride home. The goat cheese is a wonderful, creamy element that contrasts with crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds.
I cut out the mint this time of year since my fresh herb box is either dead or in hibernation, but if you have it, it really does add great flavor. I substitute spinach or mixed greens for the arugula depending on what’s in season at the co-op, and I am currently eating this salad topped with sunflower seeds, since I happened to have some around.
One more note: you’ll want more dressing than this calls for. Don’t worry about the “oil from baking sheet,” just make a quick red wine vinaigrette and you’re good to go.
Happy (delicious) holidays!
Spiced Squash and Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese
From Bon Appetit, October 2009.
- 3/4 cup French green lentils*
- 6 cups 1-inch pieces peeled seeded sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (from about one 2-pound whole pumpkin)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika**
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Place lentils in small bowl. Cover with cold water and soak 10 minutes; drain.
Cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Drain lentils. Rinse under cold water, then drain.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place pumpkin in large bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, paprika, and sea salt. Arrange pumpkin in single layer on baking sheet; roast 20 minutes. Turn pumpkin over. Roast until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool.
Combine lentils, pumpkin, and oil from baking sheet with arugula, half of goat cheese, mint, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among plates; sprinkle remaining goat cheese over.