1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
I am a magazine fanatic. Well, a food magazine fanatic. I subscribe to all the major players; Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Martha Stewart Living, Everyday Food….you get the picture. You can only guess then my excitement when I open my mailbox to find a new issue of any of the above favorites.
Last week, my October issue of Bon Appetit arrived, with a cover that announced a new season~FALL. Immediately I paged through it and turned corners down for recipes I must try. There was one recipe in particular, that had me racing to the store for needed ingredients, I had to have this for dinner. It was the Spiced Pumpkin, Lentil, and Goat Cheese Salad. The recipe calls for sugar pumpkin or butternut squash, I had just bought two butternut squashes from my roadside tomato farmer(now butternut squash farmer). Even though I am an arugula fan, I had mixed field greens on hand so, I substituted those for arugula. But I must say, it was the French Green Lentils with their earthy taste and firm texture that made this salad a new fall favorite. Actually, after making this salad I was hunting for more lentil recipes. Let me know if you have a favorite recipe with lentils.
This salad is just another great reason to eat with the seasons, after just half a year, these fall flavors are new again.
Butternut Squash, Lentil, and Goat Cheese Salad
adapted from Bon Appetit October 2009
1/2 cup French green lentils
3 cups butternut squash, peeled & seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
4 cups mixed field greens
3/4 cup goat cheese, softened and crumbled
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, sliced thin
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 375 F
1. Rinse lentils. Put lentils in a small bowl cover them with cold water. Let sit for 10 minutes and then drain.
2. Fill a 2 qt sauce pan half way with water, bring water to a boil. Add 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt and lentils. Boil lentils for about 30 minutes. (lentils should be tender, but firm) Drain and rinse with cold water.
3. Place the cut butternut squash cubes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the squash and toss. Then sprinkle cumin, paprika and 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt and toss again. Arrange the squash cubes in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir and turn the squash and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool.
4. In a large wide salad bowl, combine the lentils, butternut squash, field greens, goat cheese, mint, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Gently toss. Season with salt & pepper to taste.