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
baby arugula
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!



SarahB said…
This looks GORGEOUS! Perfect Halloween salad!
Diane B. said…
Did you give out salad to the kids for Halloween???
Ha! This looks great!
Oui, Chef said…
I saw this on Smittten the other day too, and am dying to try it. Thanks for your recommended short cuts....very smart. - S
mil said…
Picture of "the trioker" is ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Salad looks good, too.
I'm so excited, I found a bag of those lentils in my pantry when I was cleaning it out the other day, I have my roasted butternut squash tucked away in my fridge, arugula bought yesterday, I'm ready to go!
mil said…
oops... correction
I meant "tricker" as in trick or treat..
too early in the a.m. to be typing, I guess.
kat said…
It even looks a little spooky with those black lentils
Perfect colors! I'm with you on Halloween. I decided to disappear in the afternoon to avoid the rush.
Looks great! I should have munched on salad rather than chili, hot dogs and candy. Love those Tj's lentils.
The JR said…
We live so far out in the sticks we don't get trick or treaters.
goat cheese and squash. yum! I love salads. I also had a salad today but it was not nearly this yummy looking.
Dana said…
Yes, very good tip on the tossing at last minute. The one I made for the large group got a little wilty. Still tasty though. We had to coach our kids at every house to say "Treat or treat" first, then "thank you", then "happy halloween!". The candy is just overwhelming for them. :)
The Leftoverist said…
Okay, this salad is showing up everywhere! Obviously a sign :)

I'm definitely going to try those TJ's lentils, too...
Claudia said…
I love that salad - I thought I got it from Gourmet... so many contrasting and compatible flavors. And I guess I should be happy with my neighborhood - 20years of "thank-you's."
I need to try this - it's got all the ingredients I love. And I love Beluga Lentils! This looks great.
Angela said…
Did your little vampire eat the salad too? My kids would love this! They love b.n. squash.
Great photos.

What a great looking Halloween salad. We went to a Halloween party this year and your salad would have been perfect to take.

We purposely went to a party at someone else's house so we didn't have to sit at our house and hand out candy to kids that now have grown so tall that they could pass for adults. Amazing how small, typical trick or treaters have morphed into adult trick or treaters lately. Frankly I find it scary.
Carole said…
You would have liked my friend's daughter--she would go to the door, say "Trick or Treat," and then "No, thank you. I'm not allowed to take candy from strangers."
Ann from Illinois said…
We part company about the disdain for Halloween. Oh, I'm so sad, but I'll get over it. I still think it's a night to relive the magic/happiness/simplicity of childhood. O.k., o.k., there are some bad seeds out there on this special night (and I'm a teacher so I'm not being naive), but somehow this night is still special and lovely all on its own.

The recipe looks deeeelicious. I plan on trying it someday soon. Again, thank you for continually making me smile and want to try wonderful, new food. I guess I'll forgive you the anti-Halloween sentiments.:-)
Karen said…
I don't like Halloween either. I'd just as soon they do away with it! LOL I love the Butter Tart recipe - think I'll make some :) How come I haven't been here in forever???