Lentils with Goat's Cheese and Roasted Pumpkin Salad
One of Dave’s top 5 favourite veg is the pumpkin – he even won a local competition for one of his home-grown ones! If you can get a kabocha squash (green with yellow flesh) or an orange Hokkaido pumpkin these are fab, but just use a peeled butternut squash if you can’t.
- 1 kg pumpkin
- 4 tbsp oil
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 red onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 red pepper
- 1 courgette
- 150g button mushrooms
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 250g green/brown/speckled blue dried lentils
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- leaves from a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp paprika
- 3 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
- 200g rocket leaves
- 200g crumbly goat’s cheese/ feta cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350ºF/gas mark 4.
2. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Leaving its skin on, chop the pumpkin into wedges and put on to a baking tray. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix, coating the pumpkin wedges evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 30–40 minutes, until they start to brown and become tender and caramelized.
3. Peel and finely slice your onion and garlic. Deseed the red pepper and chop into bite-size pieces. Slice the courgette into rounds and chop the mushrooms into quarters.
4. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a medium-sized pot and put on a high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the courgettes, red pepper, mushrooms, 2 teaspoons of salt and black pepper, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
5. Add the lentils, stock, thyme leaves, bay leaf, paprika and tamari and give it all a good mix. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed. The lentils should be soft and tender and still moist, not dried out – if they are, add a little more liquid and cook until they are ready.
6. Put half the rocket leaves into a large salad bowl, spreading them right around the edges of the bowl. Pour the hot lentil mix into the centre of the bowl.
7. Top with the baked pumpkin wedges and the rest of the rocket leaves and sprinkle over the goat’s/feta cheese. Give a little mix before serving.
8. Lovely eaten warm or cold.