ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH SPICED LENTILS, FETA CHEESE, AND WALNUTS

 

The markets are filled with various types of squashes.  They are as beautiful to look at as they are to cook.  This recipe will fill your kitchen with exotic aromas.  You can use pumpkin or sweet potato in place of the squash, or  combination of the two.  Just remember to keep the weight roughly the same.  You can even add a handful of canned chickpeas during the last bit of simmering.  Serve with plenty of crusty bread.

The ingredients – serves 4 generously

1 1/2   cups green lentils, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

3 tbsp good quality olive oil

1 large onion, halved and sliced

1 small fresh red chile, halved, seeded and sliced

1 generous  tsp ground cumin

1 generous  tsp ground turmeric

1 generous  tsp hot paprika

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 generous tsp coriander powder

2 tsp of  sugar

2 fat garlic cloves crushed

14 ounce can of Italian whole peeled tomatoes, smooshed

l large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves coarsely chopped

The juice of half a lemon

8 oz. feta cheese coarsely chopped

Sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Put the lentils in a saucepan with sufficient cold water to cover.   Add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until tender.  DO NOT OVERCOOK.  Drain and set aside.

Dry roast the walnuts in a small non-stick skillet set over low heat, until browned.  Watch as nuts tend to brown rather quickly.  Set aside.

Arrange the squash cubes on baking sheet, toss with 2 tbsp of the oil, and sprinkle with a little salt.  Roast in the preheated oven for 30 – 35  minutes until tender.

Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, sprinkle with a little salt, and cook over low heat for 30- 35 minutes, until soft.  Now add the chile, cumin, turmeric, paprika, garlic, and  red pepper flakes and cook, stirring for about a minute

Add the tomatoes and break them up with your wooden spoon, the sugar, and half the parsley.  Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring in the cooked lentils about 5 minutes the end of the cooking time, just to warm through.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  This step should become second nature to you.  Always taste, taste, taste when cooking.  It is better to add the seasons WHEN you are cooking, then after you’ve finished.

Add the roasted squash and the other half of parsley, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice.  Taste again and adjust the seasoning.  Crumble over the goat cheese, add the walnuts and slide under your oven broiler just until the feta cheese starts to brown.  This will warm up your squash and give a nice finish to the dish.  Serve immediately with plenty of crusty bread.

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH SPICED LENTILS, FETA CHEESE, AND WALNUTS
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This recipe will fill your kitchen with exotic aromas. You can use pumpkin or sweet potato in place of the squash, or combination of the two.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 3 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 small fresh red chile, halved, seeded and sliced
  • 1 generous tsp ground cumin
  • 1 generous tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 generous tsp hot paprika
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 generous tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 2 fat garlic cloves crushed
  • 14 ounce can of Italian whole peeled tomatoes, smooshed
  • l large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves coarsely chopped
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • 8 oz. feta cheese coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Put the lentils in a saucepan with sufficient cold water to cover. Add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes until tender. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Drain and set aside.
  3. Dry roast the walnuts in a small non-stick skillet set over low heat, until browned. Watch as nuts tend to brown rather quickly. Set aside.
  4. Arrange the squash cubes on baking sheet, toss with 2 tbsp of the oil, and sprinkle with a little salt. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 - 35 minutes until tender.
  5. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, sprinkle with a little salt, and cook over low heat for 30- 35 minutes, until soft. Now add the chile, cumin, turmeric, paprika, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring for about a minute
  6. Add the tomatoes and break them up with your wooden spoon, the sugar, and half the parsley. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring in the cooked lentils about 5 minutes the end of the cooking time, just to warm through. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. This step should become second nature to you. Always taste, taste, taste when cooking. It is better to add the seasons WHEN you are cooking, then after you've finished.
  7. Add the roasted squash and the other half of parsley, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Taste again and adjust the seasoning. Crumble over the goat cheese, add the walnuts and slide under your oven broiler just until the feta cheese starts to brown. This will warm up your squash and give a nice finish to the dish. Serve immediately with plenty of crusty bread.

 

 

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