Halloween Salad: Butternut Squash, Lentils & Goat Cheese
Happy Halloween! (one of my least favorite holidays.....bah humbug).
Can kids please learn to say "thank you", "hello", "Trick or Treat, smell my feet..." when they come to my door and beg for candy, instead of the blank stare, grab a handful and run away?
Maybe I scare them.
I made a fantastic fall salad yesterday to munch on while giving out candy.
It originated at Bon Appetit, then went to Smitten Kitchen, then to my friend Dana, who assured me that it would be great. She was right.
We LOVED this salad.
A few tips: I decided instead of using my precious lentils du Puy from France, I used already cooked Beluga Black Lentils in a vacuum packed bag from Trader Joe's. That is definitely the way to go.
I also bought pre-cut butternut squash at Trader's to make life much easier.
Another bit of advice: You can prepare the squash and lentils ahead, but do not mix the arugula with the rest of the ingredients until ready to serve, or the salad will be a soggy mess.
Roasted Butternut Squash, Lentils & Goat Cheese Salad: (adapted from Dana Treat):
3/4 cup black or green lentils
approx. 4 cups peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash (1-inch cubes), (from about a 2 lb. squash)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup soft crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus additional to taste
If you are using dried lentils, prepare the lentils by rinsing them and simmering them in a heavy pot of water for about 30 minutes, until tender, but not mushy. Let the lentils cool before adding to the squash.
(I skipped this step, since I used already prepared black beluga lentils from Trader Joe's).
Roast the squash:
On a baking sheet, toss the cut up squash w/ 2 tbsp. olive oil, cumin, smoked paprika and kosher salt. Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes, turning once so they brown on all sides.
With a spatula, add the squash to the lentils, getting all that nice orange oil from the baking pan into the bowl.
Add 2 tbsp red wine vinegar and another tbsp olive oil. Throw in the fresh mint and season w/ salt and pepper.
Taste and correct seasonings.
You can add the arugula to the salad if you like (next time I am omitting the greens, so I can eat it the next day), and sprinkle w/ crumbled goat cheese.
"Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!"
There, I've said it!