Tuesday, November 6

Lentil, Squash, & Goat Cheese Salad

A hearty winter salad full of roasted squash, lentils, and goat cheese

Butternut squash is one of my favorite winter vegetables and shows up in my cooking at least a couple times a week during the chilly months. Peeling and dicing one can be a pain, so I like to prep it once and use it in a bunch of meals (sometimes you can buy cut-up squash at the grocery store, too). I had a little leftover raw squash from this meal - and I was close to throwing it since it wasn't enough for a full side dish - until I stumbled upon this simple salad recipe. The squash gets roasted with a few savory spices, which helps to balance out its sweetness, before getting tossed with black lentils, baby kale, and goat cheese. If you have more squash than I did, I’d recommend roasting it all in the spices and then saving it for a quick side dish another night. The recipe is super versatile and makes a great use of leftovers, so any nuts, cheese, herbs, or greens you have on hand can be substituted and added. 

Lentil, Squash, Arugula, & Goat Cheese Green Salad:
  • Toss 1-2 c. diced butternut squash with 2 tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika, ground cumin, and kosher salt.
  • Place squash on a sheet pan and roast in a 400F oven for 30 minutes, tossing once, until tender and caramelized.*
  • Add 1/4 c. sunflower seeds to the pan and roast for another minute, or until seeds are lightly golden.
  • Meanwhile, add 1/2 c. black lentils** to a sauce pot and cover with several cups of water. Season with salt.
  • Bring pot to a medium simmer, cover partially with a lid, and cook for 25-35 minutes, or until al dente.
  • Drain lentils, rinse with cold water, and add to a large bowl.
  • Add in the squash and any spiced oil from the sheet pan and toss with the squash.
  • Add in a handful of baby kale,*** 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss to combine.
  • Crumble in 2-3 oz. fresh goat cheese and lightly toss again.
  • Divide salad onto plates and serve.

Serves two - three (side dish)
*Can be done one day in advance and re-heated before adding to the lentils.
**Green lentils would work too.
***Or any other hearty green.