This flavoursome dish feels rich and nourishing with the sweetly savoury butternut squash and juicy red onions which are perfect partners for the rustic, earthy puy lentils. A tangy dressing and cubes of feta for non-vegans makes it even more delicious. Serve hot or cold, as a main or side dish.
It’s easy to make – not much slaving over a hot stove – especially if you use ready cooked puy lentils. The slight faff is peeling the butternut squash, but this simple hack makes it a whole lot easier: simply half your butter squash vertically and then cook in the oven at 200 for around 20 minutes until the skin starts to go baggy and wrinkly. Take the halves out and peel as usual before chopping up into chunks and baking. Easy!
Ingredients – serves 2-3 as a main dish
200g puy lentils – dried or ready cooked
1 large butternut squash – around 1 kg
Sprigs of rosemary
2 red onions
Feta – optional
Salt & black pepper
100g tomatoes in oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Warm up a tablespoon of oil in a large baking vessel whilst you chop the peeled butternut squash into bite-sized chunks. Roast the butternut squash for about 45 minutes with the rosemary until starting to brown at the edges. Season with salt and black pepper.
- If you are using dried lentils, boil according to packet instructions. They usually take between 20-30 minutes. Drain and leave to one side in the sieve.
- Meanwhile make the dressing by either whizzing up the ingredients into a rough paste, adding a little more olive oi if necessary (you want it to be quite thick though) – or chopping the sundried tomatoes and garlic up as finely as possible before mixing up with the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt and black pepper.
- Fry the red onion in a little oil until caramelised.
- When you are ready to serve the dish, put the cooked puy lentils in saucepan on a low heat to warm through. Stir in the dressing, then toss in the butternut squash and red onions.
- Sprinkle some cubed feta over if you wish and serve.
I love a rustic red with puy lentils such as a Syrah based blend from south France or this sturdy Greek red from WholeFoods: Gaia Notios. If you are a white wine drinker then something sturdy like this South African chardonnay will stand up to the lentils and the sweetness of the butternut squash.