Sunday, May 24, 2015

Green lentil, sweet potato, butternut squash and goat cheese salad

This is an extremely hearty main course vegetarian salad. Go carb free and eat just this for dinner. We had it with the cream of asparagus soup and garlic bread. The lentils and the salad leaves are dressed with red wine vinegar and olive oil - the tang of the red wine vinegar pairs well with the sweetness from the sweet potato and butternut squash. Placed on a bed of peppery arugula and topped with creamy goat cheese, this salad is very satisfying.

Green lentil, sweet potato, butternut squash and goat cheese salad
1/2 cup french green lentils
2 cups water
1 clove of garlic peeled
a few sprigs of parsley
half a small onion
1 cup peeled and chopped sweet potato or jewel yam (1/2 inch pieces)
1 cup peeled, deseeded and chopped squash (kuri, kabocha or butternut) (1/2 inch pieces)
1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
Three large handfuls of mixed salad greens (Arugula and kale are great for this salad)
4 oz soft goat cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. Toss the chopped sweet potatoes and butternut squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil, dried chili flakes salt and pepper and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Flip and cook for another 15 minutes till the vegetables are browned and beautifully caramelized. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  4. In the meantime, rinse the lentils and put them in a saucepan with plenty of lightly salted water, the onion, garlic and parsley. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to a simmer, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender; be careful not to overcook them. If there is any water left, drain the lentils. Add 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoon olive oil, and salt to taste. Mix carefully so as not to break up the lentils.
  5. Dress the greens with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. The greens do not need any more oil unlike a standard dressing of 1 part acid to 3 parts oil. There is enough oil in the lentils as well as the roasted vegetables.
  6. To assemble the salad, lay the greens on a serving platter, topped with the dressed lentils. Sprinkle the roasted vegetables on top of the lentils and top with the crumbled goat cheese. The salad is now ready to dig in!
Serves 3

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