Happy 2019! The weather feels more seasonal in Boston with the temperature dropping this week. Start the year with this warm and comforting salad that’s easy to make. Lentils are a legume filled with fiber and protein. When combined with butternut squash, a nutrient-dense vegetable, this healthy dish will brighten the cold winter months. Green lentils tend to hold their shape better than red lentils when cooked, and are ideal for salads or mixed with other grains. This recipe is a delicious combination of ingredients with the addition of fresh herbs and zip from fresh lemon zest and juice.
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 large red onion quartered
- 6-8 large fresh sage leaves
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup dry green lentils thoroughly rinsed
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves finely chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. You can microwave the squash for 3-5 minutes to soften the skin in order to cut through it. Once softened, cut the squash down the center lengthwise, seed it and cut into half moons about 1/2 inch thick. Place the squash slices, red onion quarters and sage leaves on a rimmed sheet tray and coat with oil, salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and slightly charred.
- While the vegetables are roasting, cook the lentils according to the package instructions. You can use water or broth for the liquid and a pinch of salt. Drain and set aside the lentils to cool, once cooked.
- In a large bowl, combine the lentils with the lemon zest and juice, mint and tarragon. Add the roasted squash and onions. Taste and adjust the seasoning and add a drizzle of olive oil.