Roasted squash, red pepper and goat cheese add a delightful punch to this salad. An important key to the salad is not to overcook the lentils. It is equally good served warm or at room temperature and makes an excellent accompaniment to grilled or roasted chicken. It is also delicious stuffed into roasted delicatta squash boats for a vegetarian entrée.
1 C lentils, picked over and rinsed
5 C water
3 C low sodium chicken stock
2 T garlic, peeled and halved
1 bay leaf
1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and chopped *see Pinon’s facebook page and website for recipe
½ C goat cheese, crumbled
½ C hazelnuts, peeled, toasted and chopped
¼ C high quality extra virgin olive oil
3 T cider vinegar
1 shallot, minced fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t sugar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 bunch parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place lentils along with water, stock, garlic, and bay leaf in a large saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Adjust heat to medium, cover and simmer 15-18 minutes or until lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Take care not to overcook or lentils will be mushy.
Drain lentils well. Remove bay leaf and garlic. Set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare squash. Carefully peel and cut flesh into ¾” dice. Place squash on parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Add olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Roast the squash in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender and browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
Combine vinaigrette ingredients in large salad bowl. Add drained lentils and roasted squash. Add red pepper, hazelnuts, and parsley. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving platter and sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.